Market Harborough business zone extension could create 700 jobs

A computer generated image of how the business park would look
A computer generated image of how the business park would look

Hundreds of jobs could be created by a big extension to Airfield Business Park, to be built behind the existing Harborough Innovation Centre on the edge of Market Harborough.

Though prospective job totals are hard to predict, the design submitted this week to Harborough District Council shows new spaces for 700 cars and bikes at the site.

The first stage of the Business Park has already been created, with the £4.2 million Innovation Centre, home to around 100 small businesses, and around 8,000 square metres of separate office and industrial units.

But the recession had stalled further development of the site, and planning permission had lapsed.

Now developers William Davis Ltd have submitted plans for 30,000 square metres of extra employment space - split equally between new offices, factories and warehouses - for the rest of the site, which is off the B6047 road to Leicester.

A William Davis spokesman said: “Airfield Business Park is an excellent site and has always been earmarked for development. The original planning application had run its course so needed renewing.

“Now, there is an illustrative masterplan attached to the site which has lots of potential for future business opportunities.”

The enlarged Business Park will dovetail with a new agricultural showground recently approved by the council to the north of the site.

The big Airfield Farm housing development to the west and south of the site will eventually link the currently isolated business park to Market Harborough.

The site is a key employment part of the “strategic development area” to the north-west of the town.

Back in March, Harborough District Council’s planning committee approved plans for 924 houses at Airfield Farm off Leicester Road, 119 houses north of Lubenham Hill and 450 houses on land west of Leicester Road.

The three schemes together will increase the town’s population by 3,600 people, or about a sixth.

Harborough District Council leader Blake Pain said: “Hopefully this site will provide grow-out space for Harborough firms looking to move from places like the Innovation Centre.

“It’s important that we keep these firms in the Harborough district.”