Planning appeal on Great Bowden homes

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A controversial plan to build 70 homes in Great Bowden is back on the agenda, after the builders appealed against a council refusal.

Developers Redrow Homes had applied for planning permission to build the houses on land off Berry Close, Great Bowden.

But Great Bowden residents were firmly against, the scheme, saying - amongst other arguments - that the proposed estate would close the small gap between the village and Market Harborough.

And at a planning meeting in December last year, Harborough District Council turned down the application.

Now Redrow Homes has appealed against the council’s decision.

An appeal hearing will be held from 10am on Wednesday, June 29 at The Symington Building, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG.

The hearing, before planning inspector R Allen, is scheduled to last for two days.

Members of the public can attend the hearing and, at the Inspector’s discretion, give their views.

Great Bowden parish council chairman Paul Claxton said: “Housing schemes proposed for this bit of land have now been to the Planning Inspectors four times.

“The last time an appeal for 46 houses on the site was turned down, whereas this one is for 70 homes.

“But our argument and the district council’s argument hasn’t changed. That land is designated as separation land between Great Bowden and Market Harborough, and has been for as long as I’ve been on the parish council.”

Mr Claxton said Great Bowden villagers feared the proposed new estate would begin to turn the village into a suburb of Market Harborough.

Around 120 villagers at a packed parish meeting in September were unanimously against the plan.

“The residents attending made it very clear” said local district councillor Phil Knowles. “They intend to fight to stop any building on the land off Berry Close.”