Harborough district population set to pass 100,000 in the next five years

New homes on the site of Overstone House now named Little Bowden Rise in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
New homes on the site of Overstone House now named Little Bowden Rise in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The big housebuilding boom in Harborough means the district’s population will pass 100,000 people in the next five years.

It would mean an increase of almost 20 per cent since the last official census in 2011, when the population was a modest 85,000.

New homes being built in Great Bowden.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

New homes being built in Great Bowden.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The increase in population from 2012/13 to 2022/23 will be around 16,427 - or the equivalent of almost two new towns the size of Lutterworth within the district.

The housing figures were this week highlighted by Liberal Democrat councillor Phil Knowles, who said: “These numbers show a very significant amount of building taking place or projected to take place across the district.

“It’s proof positive that our concerns about infrastructure are totally valid.

“We need to make sure there is significant investment to support all these additional homes - in schools, doctors, dentists - all the support structures.

“We all appreciate there is a housing issue, and planners have a difficult task. But we must make sure this expansion does not have a negative impact on the district.”

The council figures show a generally upward trend in the number of houses being built per year in the Harborough district.

Number of houses completed per year rises from 284 in 2012/13 to a predicted 649 in 2018/19 - and a thumping 908 in 2022/23.

The 11 years from 2012/13 to 2022/23 will see a total of 6,571 new homes built, accommodating an estimated 16,427 new people.

Council deputy leader Phil King said more houses were needed all over Britain, not just in Harborough, because people were living longer, there were more split households and because of net migration.

“The Government’s recommendation is to build more houses to increase supply” he said. “Otherwise what do we say when our children want their own home?”

He said the council was creating infrastructure, not just buildings houses.

He said Airfield Farm, for example, had a spine road, a community hub and a primary school; the new estate proposed off Kettering Road included another school, shops and road improvements on the A6.

“We’ve also had a record number of affordable homes built across the district in the last year, and more homes for older people” he said. “That’s all positive.”