MP speaks out over housing development
Copy of a letter by Edward Garnier MP to Norman Proudfoot of Harborough District Council
Master Plan - Airfield Farm
Following our telephone conversation, I write further to my letter (with enclosures) of 10 May concerning the proposals for the development of the land to the north and west of Market Harborough between the Innovation Centre and Airfield Farm at one end and Lubenham Hill at the other.
I have long taken an interest in this matter as the MP for the area and am concerned that excessive development will cause irreparable damage to the visual outlook and wider environs as well as the amenity and ecological value of the land in question without any counter-balancing advantages to Market Harborough, Foxton, Great Bowden or Lubenham flowing from its development.
I have now read the outline of the 4 options, A to D. I will not rehearse their terms in this email nor state in detail my objections to them, albeit that I have many, but in adopting a more economic and perhaps more realistic stance in response to the 4 options, may I state that, if we must have development on this site, I support the arguments put forward by MHRAID and come down in favour of Option A as the least worst outcome?
I particularly support their reservations about the link road which will probably be far too narrow for a by-pass in the proper sense of that word and, if used as a by-pass, will lead to traffic congestion and will endanger the safety and security of resident drivers and pedestrians.
Ideally I would prefer to see none but the lightest development on Airfield Farm with provision for the County Show Ground and some suitable, complementary or additional low level buildings for employment purposes but it seems that that pass has already been sold (metaphorically speaking).
A further point to consider is the visual aspect of Market Harborough from the west.
At the moment the line of the ridge immediately behind the western boundary of the town (ie just beyond Hill Top Close, LE16 9DE) forms the skyline as one approaches Market Harborough from Lubenham.
Were the most intrusive development permitted within the corps strategy the integrity of the town’s boundaries would be spoilt by a skyline made up of roofs and chimneys.
I am sure that the strategy will also be informed by the concerns of Anglian Water dated 7 February 2012 and by any environmental, highways and infrastructure impact assessments relevant to this site.
Edward Garnier QC MP (Harborough)
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Weather for Market Harborough
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North