Controversial scheme to redevelop much-loved Harborough old people's housing complex gathers pace

More than 800 people have signed petitions calling on the masterplan to be scrapped

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:56 pm
Residents protest the plan.

A hugely-controversial scheme to knock down and redevelop an elderly people’s housing complex in Market Harborough is to move a step closer as it picks up pace.

The Platform Housing Group today said they are almost ready to go ahead with the contentious blueprint to totally rework the traditional Naseby Square community on the town’s Southern Estate.

The company said they are “just waiting for a piece of land that we own to be released from our lender’s – it’s gone on longer than we hoped but we are nearly there”.

The area affected by the plan.

Platform are poised to push ahead after Harborough District Council decided to sell its land at Naseby Square, which sits off Stuart Road, to them.

The housing association is to build 38 new affordable homes on the ageing but much-loved site – which dates back to the 1950s.

But the high-value initiative has sparked fury in Market Harborough since it emerged over three years ago because 13 bungalows are to be demolished.

The old people who lived in them have already been moved out and found new accommodation locally.

More than 800 people have signed petitions calling for Platform’s masterplan to be scrapped as regular town centre protests and demonstrations were also staged.

But despite the wave of popular opposition Harborough council gave the divisive scheme the green light earlier this year.

Platform added: “We are working with all relevant parties to progress the much-needed development of new homes at Naseby Square.

“We will continue to keep our residents and the wider community updated on the progress as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

The high-profile Naseby Square scheme triggered dramatic headlines in April this year.

The Harborough Mail revealed that the district council had paid out £920,000 for a key adjoining bungalow valued by top property website Zoopla at £303,000.

The cash-strapped authority bought 87 Granville Street as it pulled out all the stops to seal the deal for the Naseby Square project.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors demanded to know why the hard-up council shelled out three times the amount of cash the property was said to be worth.

But Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough council, insisted the massive price tag was worth paying to be able to sell the Naseby Square complex to Platform Housing.