At the eleventh hour, and just weeks after planning permission was granted, South Kesteven District Council has pulled out of negotiations with a developer for a filling station on the A15 South Road roundabout at Elsea Park, Bourne.
No news about what's happening on SKDC's website, but Bourne-based newspaper The Local reports that it's the third time negotiations with SKDC over the site have fallen through.
Elsea Park is where Lincolnshire County Council and SKDC became a laughing stock last year - after a developer refused to hand over the Bourne Relief Road for four months after it was finished!
Allison Homes, builders of the controversial housing estate at Elsea Park, didn't want to build a primary school on the estate as agreed under a Section 106 Agreement.
The finished road remained unused - and the road to nowhere featured on TV news.
In the end, after months of stalemate, Lincolnshire County Council said a new school was not needed in Bourne.
The road was finally opened - much to the relief of the people of Bourne (and The Deepings of course).
The story didn't end there. A few months later, the county council changed its mind again and did another u-turn, deciding that a new school will be needed after all...!
(See my posts Road to nowhere:the sequel 6th April 2006 and Q5 The school that never was 17th May 2006).
Getting a new filling station for Bourne is proving to be just as farcical.
SKDC dumped Henry Davidson from the project last October after losing patience over exchange of contracts.
Then a new developer - Directfirm - came on the scene. But their planning application failed.
In the New Year, SKDC was back in talks with Henry Davidson. And just last month the developers were granted planning permission and started preparatory work on the site.
But according to The Local, SKDC has pulled out of the deal so it can 'explore alternative development schemes to derive best value from the South Road site in its entirety.'
Which begs the question: why didn't they do exactly that in the first place?
No comment in The Local from any of the Tory councillors for Bourne. But newly-elected independent councillor for Bourne Trevor Holmes tells The Local:
The fact that (SKDC) have allowed negotiations to go on for so long and allowed the prospective buyers to work on the land only to abandon it at the very last minute will cause a lot of distress.Good to see at least one district councillor is on the case. I hope Trevor will persue the issue and hold SKDC to account.
They have spent a lot of council tax payers' money so far, all to no useful outcome, and the second lot of plans has gone through.