Harborough Council sent anthrax attack threat

Police are investigating after two threatening letters were sent to Harborough District Council over its decision to grant planning permission for 1,500 new homes
Police are investigating after two threatening letters were sent to Harborough District Council over its decision to grant planning permission for 1,500 new homes

Police are investigating after two threatening letters were sent to Harborough District Council over its decision to grant planning permission for 1,500 new homes.

In one of the sinister letters, the writer threatens to burn down the homes of councillors or officers. And in the other, the writer threatens an anthrax attack.

Both were delivered to the council’s Symington Building HQ in Adam and Eve Street.

At least one was hand-written and claimed to be from “a Lubenham resident”.

The council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for three applications totalling 1,500 houses around the Airfield Farm site at a meeting attended by 250 people at the town’s Market Hall on March 2. The letters were received in the post last Thursday.

A council spokesman said: “The council received two threatening letters in the post which appear to have been sent following the planning committee’s consideration of the planning applications for the north-west Strategic Development Area.

“The matter has been reported to the police. We are asking the public and council staff to be more vigilant and to report anything suspicious directly to the police.”

District council leader Blake Pain said: “It’s criminal what this person or people have done, it’s abhorrent, abysmal and a disgrace, but we don’t cower to threats.”

He said the council had reached a democratic decision on the three proposals after four years of consideration.

“We have a duty to carry on making decisions and do the best we can for town and district.”

“The people who wrote these letters might want to consider that.”

The chairman of the council’s planning committee Cllr Rosita Page said: “I spend up to 60 hours a week giving back to the community I live in, and councillors don’t get thousands, we get peanuts. We do our best, and to get letters like this is very disappointing.”

Cllr Pete Callis said: “I do understand people being angry about the planning decision, but this isn’t the right way to go about things.”

Cllr Phil Knowles, the opposition Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “Councillors were contacted several days ago and advised to be vigilant.

“I’m against 1,500 houses myself, but it’s never a solution to a problem to start issuing threats of any sort.”

A police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm Leicestershire Police is investigating the circumstances around two threatening letters received by Harborough District Council.

“The content of the letters forms part of the investigation; however, we can disclose that the letters were not directed at any one person.

“Both letters will be examined forensically.”