Plans for 600 homes in Harborough are ‘too much, too soon’ says town’s Civic Society

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A plan to build 600 new homes on land off Kettering Road, Market Harborough, has been condemned as “too much, too soon” by the town’s Civic Society.

An outline planning application for the houses, plus a primary school and a local shopping centre on an 89-acre site to the right of the road as you drive out of town, has just been received by Harborough District Council.

If approved, the scheme – called Overstone Park – would put houses across Clack Hill, from Kettering Road down to the railway line.

It would run behind the current small Overstone House scheme, and behind the homes on Shrewsbury Avenue and The Heights.

But John Tillotson, chairman of Market Harborough Civic Society, told the Mail this week: “Remember this site might be added to another one for new homes at the other side of Kettering Road.

“Kettering Road would be choked with traffic, and there’s already a bottleneck at the bottom of the hill, under the railway bridge.

“It’s too much, too soon for Market Harborough – too many houses are being built before a proper infrastructure can be created.”

Mr Tillotson said he understood the district council was under government pressure to meet a five-year housing plan and he felt that the planning system was weighted in favour of developers.

But he summed up: “This plan is too much for the local road network.”

The Mail first reported on this plan in January last year, when the new estate’s backers first put their scheme forward. The Civic Society strongly objected from the start.

The official planning application, however, has only just been submitted, following “sounding board” meetings with the district council going back to 2013, and two public exhibitions in the summer of 2016 at Market Harborough Leisure Centre.

The block of land was owned by a company in Jersey in the Channel Islands and private individuals in London and Berkshire.

Main access to the proposed estate would be from a new roundabout on Kettering Road.