400 home plan for Harborough village looks set to be refused by planning committee

An indicative plan for the development with Warwick Road to the southeast of the site, and Wistow Road along the northern edge
An indicative plan for the development with Warwick Road to the southeast of the site, and Wistow Road along the northern edge

A huge under-fire scheme to build 400 homes on the edge of Kibworth Harcourt is poised to be rejected.

Harborough District Council is set to rebuff the controversial 88-acre Manor Oaks Homes blueprint after planning officers recommended it be turned down in their advice to Harborough District Council's planning committee on Tuesday October 1.

Some 66 outraged residents have objected to the proposed development between Wistow Road and Warwick Road along with local parish councils.

Cllr Kevin Feltham, the area’s county councillor, told the Harborough Mail today: “I told the district council’s planning officers that we needed a cast iron case to oppose this and they’ve done a good job.

“This sprawling estate would be a bridge too far for both Kibworth Harcourt and the entire area.

“We’ve had 1000 new homes built in the village over the last 10 years and enough’s enough.”

Cllr Feltham, who lives in the village and is also chairman of the parish council, said the mooted new housing project would have a “huge impact”.

“We’re looking at 400 homes which would generate at least 600 more cars

“Villagers get on to the busy A6 by a narrow railway bridge which is already a serious bottleneck,” said Cllr Feltham.

“It regularly leads to long delays but the developer hasn’t addressed this issue at all.

“The proposed homes are on the edge of the village and people would face a long walk or a drive to get to the shops here.

“It’s simply not viable.

“I’ll be talking out against this development at Harborough council’s planning committee meeting on Tuesday night.

“And I’m obviously hoping that the committee and then the full council will turn it down.”

Harborough planning officers are telling councillors the scheme, which includes a new primary school, would have a drastic impact on traffic and the countryside while insisting Kibworth Harcourt has already met its housing allocation target.

Cllr Phil King, leader of Harborough District Council, said he was totally opposed to the Kibworth Harcourt housing proposal.

Cllr King, who represents the village, said: “This development would be a massive blot on the landscape – it doesn’t add up at all.

“It would be very visible – massive in your face visible. And it would be going in the wrong direction, elongating the village in a way which residents don’t want to go.

“It’s not required, it’s against local planning policy and I’m entirely against it.

“It would have a huge impact on the beautiful local landscape as well as traffic and roads.

“We’ve got seven years’ housing supply and there would be no public benefit – just benefits for the developer and the landowner.

Walgrave-based Manor Oak Homes have been contacted for comment.