600 homes planned for the edge of Market Harborough

The site of the proposed development (marked in red)
The site of the proposed development (marked in red)

Another plan for a big, new edge-of-town estate in Market Harborough has been submitted to the district council.

But a local councillor has warned that the new scheme, if approved, could bring gridlock to a whole eastern section of the town.

The latest scheme calls for the building of up to 600 new houses, a primary school and a local centre including shops, a doctors’ surgery and a community centre, on an 88-acre site the developers call Overstone Park.

The site is off Clack Hill, between the top of Kettering Road and the railway line.

But ward county councillor Dr Sarah Hill told the Mail: “I fear a scheme like that will just bring gridlock to that part of town.”

She said she was thinking of the pinch-point on Kettering Road under the railway bridge, the Kettering Road roundabout with access roads to Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl, and the knock-on effect down a host of local side-roads.

“We know Market Harborough is a popular place, but this rapid expansion is going to destroy the goose that laid the golden egg,” said Cllr Hill.

“We just haven’t got the infrastructure for all these homes.

“This is an ancient market town too, and it wasn’t designed for hundreds and thousands of vehicles.”

“The town is expanding too quickly,” warned John Tillotson, the chairman of Market Harborough Civic Society.

“This scheme for 600 more new homes is too much, too soon.

“The infrastructure of Market Harborough, 
including the schools and the doctors, can’t keep up. The problem is that the facilities come after the houses.

“And yet we’re told Harborough still has a shortfall in the number of houses that need to be built.”

Access to the proposed new Overstone Park estate would be from a new roundabout on Kettering Road, and via a new road link through Overstone House.

The developers have also suggested traffic lights at the junction of Kettering Road and the A6 bypass.

The block of land appears to be owned by a company in Jersey in the Channel Islands and private individuals in London and Berkshire.

A 47-page planning statement submitted by DLA Town Planning Ltd, for the landowners, says the “sensitively designed proposal” should be seen as “a positive way of 
providing new homes”.