Council too slow to object against plans for 170 homes

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A controversial scheme to build 170 homes in a Harborough district village has gone straight to appeal - because the council was too slow in dealing with it.

Council planners have just 13 weeks to collect evidence from different bodies including the county council and come to a decision on major developments.

But in the case of a new 170-home estate off Oaks Road, Great Glen, the hard-pressed council failed to reach a decision in the designated time.

The district council only received important Highways information from Leicestershire County Council last week.

In the meantime, developers Miller Homes Ltd, went straight to an appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, effectively bypassing the normal council planning procedure.

At Tuesday night’s planning committee meeting, councillors voted to reject the Great Glen scheme.

But all they can do now is inform the Planning Inspector about the decision they would have made - if the scheme had come to them in the normal way.

The proposed new estate is very unpopular in Great Glen, parish council chairman Bill Glasper told the meeting.

He said 96 per cent of local people were against it, according to a survey conducted by the parish council which had 330 responses.

Local district councillor James Hallam told the meeting that Great Glen was a “wonderful village” that was already expanding too quickly and in danger of being becoming “a developer’s playground”.

Other objectors said the planned estate was on dominating high ground outside the village boundary, was at odds with the parish council’s developing local plan and would lead to gridlock on already busy local roads.

Villager Andrea Vear said the scheme would have “a negative impact on the village and its people”.

The appeal itself has yet to be approved by the Planning Inspectorate. A decision would then normally be expected within 19 weeks.