Tell us more of ‘prison’ proposal
Worried villagers today called for more information about plans to house vulnerable people at a former county college. As reported in the Lincolnshire Echo on Saturday, the owners of Caythorpe Court, near Sleaford, are believed to be considering housing recovering drug addicts and ex-prisoners there. London-based property firm the Angel Group dropped plans to use it as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers in March. At the time the company was understood to have reverted to its original intention to develop the site for housing. But difficulties in obtaining planning permission may force the company to consider looking at alternative uses. Caythorpe Parish Council was told that as well as the housing option, the group was looking at the possibility of turning the 31-acre site into a rehabilitation centre. Now members of the Caythorpe Action Group, which formed to fight the asylum seeker plan, are demanding to know more. Group spokesman Terry Norman said villagers were worried about the possibility of the court being used as a rehabilitation centre. “We are in limbo and are more concerned than ever about the future of Caythorpe Court,” he said. “We have a severe drug problem in the village and talk of using it to house recovering drug addicts is very worrying. “Parents are very concerned about the issue.” Mr Norman said that new security gates had been put up at Caythorpe Court about eight days ago. He was concerned about whether they were connected with possible measures to build a centre. “They are the sort of thing you might see at a concentration camp,” he said. “But there is only a wire fence around them – that wouldn’t hold anyone in.” Mr Norman has also contacted Sleaford MP Douglas Hogg, asking him to write to the Angel Group to ask if it yet has any definite plans for the site. It is understood the company would not need to apply for planning permission for change of use if it opted for a rehabilitation centre. That is because the site already has permission to be used for educational purposes, from its days as an agricultural college. South Kesteven district councillor Peter Martin-Mayhew said he had been asked to investigate the matter by the parish council. He said that using the site for a rehabilitation centre was just one option that the group was considering. The Angel Group was unavailable to comment on its plans. What should Caythorpe Court be used for? Write to Your View at Lincolnshire Echo, Brayford Wharf East, Lincoln LN5 7AT. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .