Harborough ready to work with neighbours to build new homes over the next few years as demand continues to soar

They are set to back a new scheme to meet the rocketing need for homes which cannot be met just in Leicester

By Red Williams
Monday, 16th May 2022, 5:48 pm
Harborough District Council is poised to work hand in hand with its sister councils in Leicestershire to build new homes over the next few years as demand continues to soar.
Harborough District Council is poised to work hand in hand with its sister councils in Leicestershire to build new homes over the next few years as demand continues to soar.

Harborough District Council is poised to work hand in hand with its sister councils in Leicestershire to build new homes over the next few years as demand continues to soar.

They are set to back a new scheme to meet the rocketing need for homes which cannot be met just in Leicester.

The county’s seven district councils, supported by the county council and Leicester City Council, are now working on a key draft document called a Statement of Common Ground.

This document features the potential distribution of new homes and employment land across the county - and comes on top of the growth needs each district has to find land for.

This pivotal blueprint has not yet been formally agreed by the councils.

All councils will individually scrutinise the Statement of Common Ground.

Leicester needs to build almost 40,000 homes up to 2036.

However, despite significant development of brownfield and greenfield sites across the city, it does not have the space for around 18,700 of those homes.

Neither does the under-pressure city have space for around 23 hectares of employment land.

A planning steering unit called the Members Advisory Group, which involves all councils in Leicestershire, has recommended district councils consider formally approving the Statement of Common Ground.

Cllr Terry Richardson, chair of the Members Advisory Group, said: “This is a significant challenge for Leicester and Leicestershire, but all councils are working together to ensure we do what is best for our local communities.

“It is important we deliver the housing and employment we need to ensure people have homes to live in and jobs.

“It is equally important that we plan that growth so it is controlled and limits the impact on our environment,” said Cllr Richardson.

“Leicester simply does not have the land within its city boundaries to meet expected demand for homes and employment over the next 16 years and we are required by Government to work together on a local level to find local solutions.

“It will also be important for the Government to support this joint working with the necessary funding of critical infrastructure, such as transport, schools and health provision to support the growth.”

Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough District Council, said: “We are following a process at Harborough District Council concerning the Statement of Common Ground currently being considered by all the councils of the Leicester and Leicestershire area relating to housing and employment distribution.

“Firstly, there will be an opportunity for the council’s Communities Scrutiny Panel to consider the Statement of Common Ground when they meet on 30 June 2022.

“There will also be an opportunity for local interested parties and communities to engage with that Scrutiny process and make comments,” said the council chief.

“We will share more details nearer the time.

“Then, in early September, the Cabinet will consider recommendations from the Scrutiny Panel.

“The Cabinet will then make recommendations to the council which they will consider at a council meeting towards the end of September.”

To view the Statement of Common Ground and frequently asked questions about the statement, visit: https://www.llstrategicgrowthplan.org.uk/latest-updates/publication-of-statement-of-common-ground-relating-to-housing-and-employment-land-needs/