Disputed homes plan for Market Harborough ‘called in’ for decision by council

The masterplan for the homes
The masterplan for the homes

A controversial plan to build 128 new homes in Market Harborough has been “called in” by councillors.

The unusual move means that the scheme - for homes off Kingston Way in the north of the town - must now be discussed by a full council meeting.

Planning approval was initially given last week, in a stormy meeting with frequent interjections from the public, on the casting vote of the Planning Committee chairman.

Local protest group leader John Gilding, who had called the scheme “a monumental intrusion on our landscape”, said after the meeting he was “very disappointed”.

Now five councillors have decided they want the matter discussed again at a full council meeting - probably in January.

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Phil Knowles said: “Initially, planning committee councillors asked for a deferment, which was turned down on a vote.

“But I know there were concerns among the public and some Planning Committee members from both political parties - planning isn’t usually party-political - on transportation to the site by builders, on drainage and other matters.

“Some councillors felt these contentious areas needed clarification.”

Around 50 local people attended the original Planning Meeting on December 4.

When the David Wilson Homes East Midlands scheme was approved, they left noisily, shouting “you’ve ruined this town”, “how many more houses?” and “shame on you”.

For the developers, Angela Smedley had said the site fitted with the District Council’s Local Plan and there were no objections from statutory consultees.

The scheme had been recommended for approval by council officers, who said benefits outweighed traffic and landscape impacts.