MP criticises builders on ‘opportunistic’ plan in Kibworth

Housing GV.
Housing GV.

A scheme to build a 400-home estate in Kibworth has been strongly criticised by Harborough MP Neil O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien has accused developers Manor Oak Homes of ignoring parish and district council plans and being ‘opportunistic’ in trying to rush their scheme through before Harborough’s Local Plan is finalised.

He said: “This proposal is just a step too far.”

But Manor Oak Homes say: “Harborough District Council has struggled to meet the local area’s critical need for new homes over the last decade. The proposed development would help resolve this problem ... and would provide significant public benefits.”

The row is over a plan for 400 houses on a site west of Warwick Road, Kibworth.

The proposal is outside land allocated for housing by both Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council andHarborough District Council.

Neil O’Brien said: “People in the Kibworths worked for three years on their Neighbourhood plan.

“But what is being now being proposed is a very large development, clearly outside the limits to development set by the Neighbourhood Plan.

“Harborough District Local Plan, which is about to come into force, also makes a clear choice not to make the Kibworths the focus of development.

“This new proposal is in clear contradiction of the Local Plan put forward by our elected local councillors. The developers themselves even acknowledged they were being ‘opportunistic.’”

Neil O’Brien is also pushing ahead with proposals to reform national planning laws, because he says “the imbalance of power between developers and the community is just not fair at the moment”.

But Manor Oak Homes say its scheme provides not just homes for Kibworth but also a “much needed primary school”, improvements to the A6 and public open space.