Planners could say yes to 635 village homes

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Plans for 635 new homes in three villages north-west of Market Harborough have been recommended for approval by council planning officers.

The three big new sites will be discussed by Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee at an Extraordinary Planning Meeting on Tuesday, May 16 at the Cromwell Suite, the Three Swans Hotel, in Market Harborough.

The three schemes, all within a couple of miles of each other, are:

* A Persimmon Homes plan for 290 new houses on land at Fleckney Road, Saddington.

* A David Wilson Homes scheme for 195 new homes on land north of Fleckney Road, Kibworth Beauchamp.

* A David Wilson Homes plan for 150 new homes on land at Kilby Road, Fleckney.

Council officials have recommended that all three sites should be approved.

But the final decision will be made by elected planning councillors on Tuesday night.

The district council’s weakness is that it is short of houses for its five-year government-given housing target.

Any planning refusal will therefore probably be appealed by developers - and the district council has been losing some planning appeals.

Local planning authorities that have too many major decisions overturned at appeal will lose their planning powers, the Government has ruled.

These authorities go in to a type of planning “special measures” where a Government designated team decides planning applications, rather than councillors.

Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee has already been warned by council officials to think of the consequences of too many lost appeals.

District council Liberal Democrat opposition group leader Cllr Phil Knowles told the Mail: “It’s a serious situation. The council’s mantra has always been ‘each application on its own merits’, but this background certainly puts extra pressure on planning committees.”