Brakes applied to 61-home plan in Kibworth

Library image of house building.
Library image of house building.

Proposals have been lodged for 110 new homes on a site in Kibworth but a previously approved plan for 61 houses on the same site is now to be reviewed by a Government minister.

Northamptonshire-based developer Manor Oak Homes won outline approval from Harborough District Council’s planning committee on July 7 for 61 homes on open countryside, off Wistow Road in Kibworth Harcourt.

And the same developer this week submitted a fresh proposal for a further 110 new properties at the same site.

This plan is part of ‘phase two’ for the land, bringing the total number of houses to 171 – a figure deemed much too high by Kibworth ward district councillors Phil King and Chris Holyoak.

This wider scheme for the site was raised as a major concern by the Kibworth councillors at the planning meeting on July 7 but those fears were dismissed by other members on the planning panel who voted 5-4 in favour of approving the project.

But while Kibworth residents were this week raising anxieties about their creaking infrastructure due to the level of new housing destined for their village, an eleventh-hour twist in the tale emerged.

The initial planning application will now be the subject of a ‘call-in’ decision – meaning the Local Government minister Greg Clark will be asked to take a view on the proposal.

A Harborough Council spokesman said on Tuesday: “We have received notification from the National Planning Casework Unit of the Department for Communities and Local Government that the Secretary of State has received a request to consider the ‘call-in’ of the application

“The council awaits the Secretary of State’s decision whether to call-in this planning application.

“Until [then], the council has been asked to withhold issuing a decision notice on the application.”

The person or group who wrote to the minister has not yet been revealed.

This process was responsibilty for stalling the Tesco plan for Rockingham Road, Harborough, last autumn but the minister decided not to back the call-in on that occasion.