A second large new housing estate in Market Harborough to go before councillors inside two weeks has got the go-ahead – creating almost 1,000 new homes altogether.
As expected the scheme to build 350 properties on a 36-acre chunk of land off Eady Drive was resoundingly rubberstamped by Harborough council’s planning committee last night (Tuesday).
Only two district councillors voted against the vast Persimmon Homes development – despite serious concerns being raised about more flooding and crime as well as traffic congestion.
Wedged between Northampton Road and Brampton Valley Way and sitting to the east of the River Jordan Valley, the controversial blueprint was backed by the council’s planning officers.
But Cllr Peter James told councillors that he was very worried as many residents on his Little Bowden patch are already badly hit by flooding every winter.
“We have a huge problem with the Jordan and Welland rivers.
“The Jordan is full and it overflows,” said the Liberal Democrat councillor.
“We have properties that are flooded and some are destroyed.
“I can’t see anything here that will help to solve this problem.
“We don’t seem to be addressing the wider problem here.”
Cllr James said the high-profile plan should be adjourned until flooding experts who have been consulted were drafted in to address the committee.
“I am very concerned about our residents.
“I’d also like to add that traffic congestion is already terrible on Northampton Road.
“This development will make that worse,” he insisted.
“There’s nothing here to alleviate that.
“We also have a big population growth here,” said Cllr James.
“The police are not able to deal with the situation (with anti-social behaviour) we have here in Market Harborough as it is.
“We need more resources.
“We will get more crime with an increased population.”
But a council planning officer replied that a package of measures was being put into place to tackle more traffic in Market Harborough as well as to combat flooding.
The mix of houses and bungalows on the new Persimmon Homes site will include 128 'affordable properties', available for rent and part ownership.
The new initiative has gone through just 14 days after the first sector of another new 600-house housing estate in Market Harborough got the green light.
The Davidsons Homes project to put up an initial 164 homes, including 56 ‘affordable’ properties, on land by Coleridge Way off Kettering Road got the green light on June 1.
The estate will bring about 1,500 more people into Market Harborough over the next 10 years as the fast-growing town continues to fan out into the surrounding countryside on all sides.