Harborough district is planning ‘Wild West’

Great Bowden
Great Bowden

Harborough is a planning “Wild West”, with local people under attack from builders behaving like “development bandits”, district council planners were told this week.

The accusation came from Great Bowden villager Peter Mitchell in a debate about a new 50-home estate for the village.

Mr Mitchell said too many developments were being green-lighted by Harborough District Council because they had no five-year housing plan and villages like Great Bowden had no Neighbourhood Plan.

“We’re a community under attack” he said.

But despite reservations from several councillors, approval was given to the outline plan for the 50-home estate off Welham Road, to the north of Great Bowden.

The go-ahead comes despite 158 letters from local people, none of whom wanted the scheme.

Protestors said the new Richborough Estates development would “urbanise” the pretty village, add to traffic congestion and put pressure on already stretched village resources, especially the school.

They also said the quiet Welham Lane was unsuitable as an access road.

But council officers had recommended approval for the scheme.

They concluded that the new estate would be located on the edge of a sustainable development, and benefits outweighed any harm.

After the meeting, Great Bowden Parish Council chairman Paul Claxton said: “The village will be very disappointed by this.”

And one ward district councillor, Barry Champion, added: “I suppose the committee have to do what they have to do, but I think we need to get this five year plan into action.”