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£2m plan to turn old college into rifle range

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Lincolnshire Echo

When villagers learned that a Grade II listed building could be turned into an asylum seekers’ centre, they declared war against the plans. They thought they had won when the company which owned the land dropped the controversial proposal. But they were dealt another blow when its owner, the Angel Group, came up with another idea for Caythorpe Court, near Sleaford. This time, it was to turn it into a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts and ex-prisoners. For three years villagers fought against the plans for the former agricultural college, which went on the market for £1.5 million in October 2002. Now leisure company PGL is turning the 31-acre site into an outdoor activity centre for children – and this time, the village is happy. PGL bought the land from the Angel Group for an undisclosed sum earlier this year. In June it announced it wanted to spend £2m on the centre, which will open in March next year. Now the company has revealed its plans for the centre – including a lake, orienteering course and archery facilities. The site would also boast an all weather pitch, theatre and bar, hedge maze, field study centre and rifle range. Villager Terry Norman mobilised the action group against the original plans in 2002. Mr Norman (75) said he was happy with the latest development. “It’s an excellent idea – they are employing local people there, they are a big company and we can see nothing but benefit,” he said. “We see it very much as a victory for our cause.” Mr Norman said he had nothing bad to say about the new plans – which have now been submitted to South Kesteven District Council for consideration. “Its going to be a centre for children – they will come on a Monday and go on a Friday,” he said. “They have advertised in the local post office for various positions that are available. Everyone in the village is quite happy.” Clerk to Caythorpe Parish Council Patrick Fleming said the feeling of the parish council reflected that of Mr Norman. “Obviously we welcome the regeneration of Caythorpe Court and the possibility of local jobs being created,” he said. “Generally it will help sustain the village in the future.” PGL has 27 centres across Britain and France. Caythorpe Court will be used as a residential activity centre for school groups during term time. It will double as a centre for family activity breaks in the holidays. The site will accommodate 400 guests and 80 members of staff. Page 36 £2m plan to turn old college into rifle range Lincolnshire Echo November 9, 2005 A company spokesman said there will be a number of developments. The three 1960s blocks on the site, which have been renamed The Wolds, will be refurbished. The sports hall will be renovated and various activity bases across the estate will be built, including plans for a small lake. The mansion ground floor will be refurbished to create a lounge and recreation area and the grounds will be maintained on a regular basis. “An application for planning permission for the following has also been submitted to South Kesteven planning authority,” said the spokesman. “To change the use of agricultural fields for low impact activities such as archery and orienteering, to expand the operation at a later date with the development of a chalet village and to extend the sports hall and provide additional facilities.” Caythorpe Court was built in 1899 as a hunting lodge. It was sold in 1902 to a family of cotton merchants. After the Second World War it was bought by Kesteven County Council. The council later converted it into an agricultural college, adding halls of residence in the grounds. For more news stories visit www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news

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Written by Concerned

November 9, 2005 at 10:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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