'Yet another slap in the face' - campaigners fight against plans to erect a pole and two flags near a controversial new estate in Harborough

They are now urging Harborough District Council to stop the blueprint in its tracks as objections begin to come in

By Red Williams
Monday, 30th March 2020, 3:27 pm
The 20ft pole, two flags and advertising hoarding would be installed at the corner of Bates Close and Alvington Way.
The 20ft pole, two flags and advertising hoarding would be installed at the corner of Bates Close and Alvington Way.

Protesters are fighting to stop a major developer erecting a pole and two flags near a controversial new estate in Market Harborough.

Furious campaigners said the David Wilson Homes scheme promoting their 128-home Burnmill Farm development was “yet another slap in the face”.

They are now urging Harborough District Council to stop the blueprint in its tracks as objections begin to come in.

Incensed Mike Major, 73, deputy chairman of Burnmill Farm Estate Action Group, told the Harborough Mail: “We are very angry about this.

“We have had to put up with a catalogue of problems at this new estate for months and months.

“So this comes as a real insult, the final straw, and people here are not happy at all.

“There’s a lot of hostility.”

Mike said the 20ft pole, two flags and advertising hoarding would be installed at the corner of Bates Close and Alvington Way.

“This monstrosity would be erected over 400 yards from the site entrance.

“It will go up on council land on a well-established residential estate.

“And it would be perched at a very busy junction,” said the retired chief executive of a London-based trade association.

“No-one wants this suddenly imposed upon us.

“The flapping flags would make a noise night and day.

“It could distract motorists in an already hectic part of town.

“And it risks misleading wagon drivers and send them on the wrong route to the site.

“Visually and every other way it will be totally inappropriate in our residential setting.”

Mike said at least seven more local residents have now objected to Harborough council.

They are insisting that the installation would have an “overbearing impact”, spark traffic and safety problems and trigger “noise and disturbance”.

“We are all sick to the teeth of this new building site.

“We had terrible flooding caused by the estate all winter,” said Mike.

“Our gardens, homes and streets were flooded time and again as we had one of the wettest winters on record.

“Burnmill Farm has been a total nightmare.

“But the trouble here unfortunately seems symptomatic of new developments all over Harborough.

“The council doesn’t listen to local people enough – either before approving applications or afterwards.

“It’s about time they did.”

John Gilmore, chairman of the action group, said: “I can’t believe David Wilson want to use this open space to put up their hoarding.

“We’ve been ignored for too long and not given any respect.

“So we are appealing to the council to stop this going ahead.”

Fellow protester Gwen Compton, 58, of Kingston Way, said: “It would be just horrendous to have this eyesore on our doorstep - not to mention the continuous noise from the flapping flags!

“Let’s hope they take notice of this time for once.”

A spokesperson for David Wilson Homes East Midlands said: “We have submitted a planning application for the signage for our Burnmill Grange development.

“Naturally installation will not take place until approval is granted by Harborough District Council.

“Should the application be successful, we’d like to assure residents that the signage is only temporary and a separate traffic management plan is already in place for construction vehicles.”

A Harborough District Council spokesman said: “No decision has been made regarding this application [ref. 20/00358/ADV] which will be considered at a date to be confirmed.

“Any comments regarding the application should be submitted to the Council via our planning online page “

Coalville-based David Wilson Homes were ordered by the council to stop using a farm track at Burnmill Farm in December amid flooding worries and fears for local wildlife.