Planners turn down two big new estates in Harborough district

The site between Fleckney and Saddington
The site between Fleckney and Saddington

Bold councillors have turned down two major new estates in the Harborough district.

Estate one was for up to 130 new homes on Fleckney Road, Saddington.

Estate two was for 125 houses at Charity Farm, off Uppingham Road, Bushby.

Both were rejected by councillors at a Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday night - despite officers recommending they should say ‘yes’ to the two schemes.

The developers in both cases – Gladman Developments in Saddington and Bloor Homes in Bushby – could now appeal against the council’s decisions, resulting in potentially expensive appeal cases.

Councillors were particularly unhappy with the Saddington scheme, condemning it as “disconnected”.

The scheme is actually an extension of Fleckney, but would be built entirely in the neighbouring parish of Saddington.

It would reduce the gap between the two villages of Fleckney and Saddington to just 500 metres.

Objectors said new housing schemes could more than double the population of Saddington parish.

But councillors voted overwhelmingly to reject it on the grounds of the loss of greenfield land and erosion of the separation between Fleckney and Saddington.

After the meeting, Saddington parish meeting chairman Chris Carter told the Mail “so far, so good,

“Developers have made no attempt to work with local people. They’ve just tried to force their plans on the host communities.”

Gladman had claimed their scheme was “suitable and sustainable”and would contribute £1.2 million to the council in Section 106 money.

The 125-home estate proposed for Bushby was only narrowly rejected by planners, on the grounds of its adverse impact on the local landscape, particularly where it climbed a steep hill.

“It’s the higher part of the site I have a problem with” explained Cllr Simon Galton, who proposed the refusal.

Officers had recommended agreeing to the Bloor Homes plan, saying the benefits of new houses – including a “significant level” of affordable homes – outweighed any adverse impacts.

Now planners must wait to see if developers will appeal against their two decisions.

Harborough District Council is still just short of having the government-required five-year housing plan, having created enough new homes for 4.92 years.