Good news for Harborough district village as estate plan refused

Great Glen
Great Glen

Some good news for villagers at Great Glen at last, as a proposal for another 100 new homes locally was turned down by Harborough District Council planners.

The scheme from Bovis Homes Ltd proposed putting the 100 houses on land off London Road at the edge of the village.

But local opposition was supported by Historic England, which said the development would harm the landscape around the nearby church.

Historic England said the planned estate would interfere with the “historic landscape setting” of the Grade II* listed St Cuthbert’s church, by eradicating an extensive tract of well-preserved medieval ridge-and-farrow cultivation.

“We’re relieved that the history of Great Glen has been protected and the village will retain its village atmosphere” said Mick Burton, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of campaigning group Hands Off Great Glen.

Two weeks ago a controversial plan for 170 homes in Great Glen, off Oaks Road, was approved by planners, to the fury of around 60 village residents at the meeting.

They left shouting “shame on you” and “how do you sleep?” at councillors.

This week’s meeting was prefaced by a warning that “the council will not tolerate abusive or aggressive behaviour towards staff or other visitors attending the meeting”.

A security guard was on duty, making sure visitors followed the rules, and left quickly and quietly after their planning application had been dealt with.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, councillors heard villagers argue the latest scheme should be opposed on heritage and traffic reasons in particular.

District councillor James Hallam said: “This is just another speculative developer rushing to build before the village’s Neighbourhood Plan is accepted.”

Councillor Amanda Nunn proposed refusing the scheme, saying local traffic was already “horrendous”.

A scheme to build 70 homes in a Harborough district village has been welcomed by councillors as showing how the planning system is supposed to work.

The new estate was proposed for land off Uppingam Road in Houghton On The Hill by Davidson’s Developments.

It was in the prime area proposed for development in the village’s own Neighbourhood Plan.

And the final scheme was arrived at after discussion between Davidson’s and the parish council.

Parish council representative Ian Hill was able to tell Tuesday night’s planning committee that the scheme was “a very acceptable compromise between the parish council and Davidson’s”.

Slightly bemused councillors – more used to long battles over every new housing estate – passed the scheme unanimously.

Councillor Amanda Burrell said the scheme “shows how development should be taken forward – it’s in the Neighbourhood Plan and everyone worked together”.

And Cllr Sindy Modha added that the collaboration in Houghton On The Hill was “refreshing to see”.