MP joins villagers’ fight against Great Bowden housing


Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier has thrown his support behind Great Bowden residents and councillors in their fight against greenfield housing developments.

The Conservative MP met residents of Great Bowden on Friday (January 29), to hear firsthand their concerns about two proposed developments in the village.

He said: “I met not only local residents but the three district councillors for Great Bowden, councillors Barry Champion, Sarah Hill and Phil Knowles. All of us, residents and politicians, are as one in objecting to the proposed plans.”

Cllr Phil Knowles said: “The infrastructure is creaking, the village under extreme pressure, all of which is deepening the concerns of the villagers.

“The decisions made now will impact on the village for generations. We have to do everything possible to ensure the fabric and character of Great Bowden is protected and not destroyed’’

One of the two proposed sites in Great Bowden is on a field off Welham Lane, just off Nether Green near the Fernie Stables.

The other is either side of the Dingley Road between the church and the River Welland.

But Sir Edward said: “You just cannot plonk 40 or 50 houses in a village like Great Bowden which is criss-crossed by narrow lanes and expect it to be trouble-free as far as additional traffic is concerned.

“Where are all the new primary school and other school places to be found when we know already that Great Bowden school is full and there are other housing developments in Market Harborough that will soak up what little additional capacity there is in schools there?

“What are we going to do about the flood-risk, the lack of doctors, dentists, the water and drainage issues and all the other infrastructure questions that always seem to get ignored?”

Cllr Barry Champion said: “To expect the village to grow by more than 10 per cent in one development is to totally misunderstand how a village functions.”