Feasibility study for Caistor development can begin

Mill Lane, Caistor EMN-200121-113750001
Mill Lane, Caistor EMN-200121-113750001

Plans to redevelop a derelict area of Caistor have moved one step closer thanks to funding from Homes England.

The former Acis depot in the town’s Mill Lane has been looked at for some time by the town council as an area that could serve a much better purpose.

Now, a proposed project being led by Caistor & District Community Trust has received the matched funding - to money pledged by Caistor Town Council - to carry out a feasibility study for community led housing on the site.

Trust members are working with Acis, West Lindsey District Council and Caistor Town Council on the plans.

There has also been assistance from EMCLH (East Midlands Community LED Housing).

Trust director and Caistor Town councillor Steve Critten says the proposed project will benefit the community as a whole.

He said: “Our initial thoughts were helping buyers to get on the property ladder and stay in the town they have grown up in.

“The feasibility will include a housing needs survey, a discussion on the types of accommodation as well as the types of tenure involved.

“It will also include planning consent and the feasibility of developing the site in the first place.”

The Mill Lane plans are part of an overall strategy by the town council and the Community Trust to provide a business hub, more appropriate housing, employment, better parking and facilities in the town.

Coun Critten said: “This overall strategy will feed into the review of the neighbourhood plan.

“I have long felt that picking one project at a time does not work.

“We have to look at Caistor’s needs as a whole and work with all groups with a common aim.

“That aim is to improve access, facilities and job prospects.”

Coun Critten, who is chairman of Caistor Town Council’s Economic and Development Committee, continued: “We have had some great advances in 2019, with the building of units at Caistor Top, our caravan and camping facilities flourishing and the gym going from strength to strength.

“New businesses have opened, with Bricktree gallery bringing in visitors, Bridal Reloved, Pig and Poke in new premises and now the newly opened Drakes Drum.”

Caistor & District Community Trust was formed initially to bring the former Co-op buildings in the town’s market place back in to use.

Work is ongoing here, with grant funding currently being applied for.

Coun Critten added: “Our visitor economy is improving and with that we need more experiences for those visitors.

“The development of 2-4 Market Place could be the catalyst in meeting the town’s needs.

“I am very excited about the future with other projects going on in the background.”

The Mill Lane site currently has permission for use as a car park and will continue to do so while the project progresses.