More Market Harborough houses recommended for approval

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A residents group says it is “shocked and disappointed” after council officers recommended approval for a new 230-home estate in Market Harborough.

Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee will have the final say on the Farndon Fields development next Tuesday, but would usually follow officers’ advice.

Residents’ group chair James Bolter said: “Like the majority of residents, I am shocked and disappointed at the recommendation.

“The ecological and environmental damage could be significant as well as adding further pressure on services in Market Harborough.”

The proposal from CJC Developments and the Pilkington Trust seeks permission for a 230-house addition to the estate being built off Farndon Road in the town.

The new estate would be accessed through two roads originally built as Closes - Measham Close and Charley Close.

The scheme involves the draining of a lagoon used by Market Harborough’s otters - although developers say they will provide a new lagoon in the north-west corner of the site. There is also a badger sett on the proposed site.

Residents’ spokesman Alan Good said: “We feel the officers have recommended approval without the full information from the Highways Authority.

“There will be extra 1,400 traffic movements a day on roads that are already too narrow and blocked with parked cars.”

The council has received a total of 207 objections to the new estate plan from local people.

Harborough Civic Society has written to the council saying it “strongly objects” to the scheme.

The society says the plan represents an undesirable intrusion into the rural landscape which currently separates the villages of Lubenham and East Farndon from Market Harborough.

But council officers say the scheme would deliver a significant number of homes on a site which is adjacent to a sustainable settlement.

The officers’ report adds that the 230 new houses would “make a significant contribution to the council’s five year housing land supply”.