CRUNCH meeting next month on Airfield Farm plans

The Airfield Farm site, taken from Gartree Road. The Harborough Innovation Centre building can be seen on the left. (Mail file picture by Andrew Carpenter).
The Airfield Farm site, taken from Gartree Road. The Harborough Innovation Centre building can be seen on the left. (Mail file picture by Andrew Carpenter).

Market Harborough’s influential civic society has expressed grave concerns over the scale of new housing proposed for the town around the Airfield Farm site.

In a letter to Harborough District Council, the society says: “We are concerned that the road structure and other facilities in the town will not be able to cope.”

The society was responding to three major planning applications for development at Airfield Farm and adjoining land in Market Harborough.

The three plans together, if approved, would bring 1,500 new homes to the town.

The plans will be considered at an extraordinary meeting of Harborough District Council’s planning committee, to be held at Harborough Market in Northampton Road, at 6.30pm on Monday, March 2.

In a statement signed by civic society chairman John Tillotson, the society says: “The civic society supports the construction of about 1,000 houses on the main airfield site, in accordance with the approved Core Strategy.”

The society points out that even this plan “will be the largest development in the history of Market Harborough”.

But the society says 1,500 homes is too many.

It says: “We are concerned the road structure and other facilities in the town will not be able to cope. Planning permission for this development should not be given now.”

The civic society has made comments on the three individual developments.

On application 11/00112/OUT for 924 dwellings and supporting development, Airfield Farm, it says: “We support the principle of development on this area.”

However, the society says the southern access to the estate from Leicester Road should be moved northwards, where it will be less dominant.

On application 12/00044/FUL for 119 dwellings and supporting development, by Linden Homes, it says: “We have raised strong objections to this development. It will take development outside the boundaries of the town, to the detriment of its attractive rural setting.

“The development is too dense and out of character with the form of development in Lubenham Hill.”

And on application 13/01483/OUT for 450 dwellings by Davidson Developments, it says: “We feel that this development should be refused because of the impact on the wider landscape, and the amount of housing proposed for Market Harborough. The principle of development needs to be considered in the Local Plan.”

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Story by Alex Dawson

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