The Battle of Windy Ridge to re-ignite over plans for 141 homes

Hot topic...a selection of stories about Windy Ridge from the Mail's archives
Hot topic...a selection of stories about Windy Ridge from the Mail's archives

CAMPAIGNERS who battled proposals for 141 homes in Little Bowden have renewed their fight following the submission of detailed plans for the site.

The Windy Ridge Action Group wants to stop Redrow Homes building the development at the site off Glebe Road.

It has submitted its objections in a detailed letter to Harborough District Council.

A Government planning inspector granted outline planning permission for the homes at the so-called ‘Windy Ridge’ site in February last year following a public inquiry.

The plans had sparked opposition from residents amid fears of toxic contamination at an old clay pit on the site and concerns over road access and development on open fields.

Harborough District Council threw out the application but it was given the go-ahead following the public inquiry.

In his final report, Government planning inspector Andrew Jeyes rejected concerns that the site contained toxic substances, adding the need for new housing outweighed any impact the development would have on the rural appearance of the area.

But in their letter to the council, action group members say the old pit - once a dumping area for trade waste including lead and arsenic - has not been investigated fully.

They say checks were made only to a depth of eight metres, when the pit was originally 60 feet deep.

Members of the group refused to comment further on their objections this week.

But their letter states: “The inspector recommended that any buildings to be erected in the pit area should have piled foundations sunk [to a depth of more than] 60 feet.

“The group is therefore extremely concerned about the possibility of toxic chemicals being disturbed and released into groundwater in the pit, especially as gardens in the vicinity flood with this water after rain.”

They also criticise the design of the homes, which they say will overlook existing properties, and the proposed used of yellow brick only for the affordable homes, which they consider discriminatory.

Traffic concerns and access to the new homes along Glebe Road are also listed as concerns.

Glebe Road resident Helen Connell told the Mail this week she was concerned floodwater containing toxins from the old pit could flow down to the new skatepark in Bellfields Lane.

“My two boys and their friends would be absolutely heartbroken as they’re down there all the time,” she said.

In its planning application, the developer states their plan: “Provides affordable housing, incorporates measures for sustainable transport, enhances green infrastructure and is in a sustainable location. The flood risk has been assessed.

“There is no reason why approval should not be granted.”