Decision on a controversial development in Harborough had to be shelved - due to IT problems at a virtual meeting

The council lost broadband strength and planning officers were unable to show slides or present the proposed redevelopment

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 1:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 1:22 pm

A decision on an under-fire scheme to redevelop an old people’s complex in Market Harborough had to be shelved last night (Tuesday) after councillors ran into serious IT problems.

Harborough District Council’s planning committee was set to debate and hammer out the future of the controversial project to knock down 16 bungalows and build 38 affordable homes at Naseby Square, off Stuart Road.

But the virtual meeting – open to the public - had to be called off after the council lost broadband strength and planning officers were unable to show slides or present the proposed redevelopment.

A decision on an under-fire scheme to redevelop an old people’s complex in Market Harborough had to be shelved last night (Tuesday) after councillors ran into serious IT problems.

The authority’s computer staff battled in vain for about half an hour to get the crucial event back up working online.

Eight speakers were lining up to give their views on the emotion-charged three-year saga when councillors finally moved at about 8pm last night to call a halt and restage the meeting at a date to be confirmed.

The highly-contentious blueprint is still set to be pushed through - despite a hard-fought public campaign to block it - after the pivotal sale of council-owned land was agreed last November.

Harborough council’s Cabinet agreed to sell its land at Naseby Square on the town’s Southern estate to Platform Housing Group - which owns the rest of the traditional site.

Furious Dave Tomlin, 77, who helps to run Naseby Square Tenants’ Support Group, told the Harborough Mail at the time: “We are still determined to stop this.

“The old people here have been treated appallingly and it’s totally unacceptable in a civilised society.

“We want them to think again and do the right thing by scrapping this much-hated scheme altogether.”

Meanwhile, last night’s planning committee backed a plan to turn a former motor vehicle repair and MoT workshop on the corner of Abbey Street and Fairfield Road in Market Harborough town centre into nine apartments.

Some 31 local people had objected to the proposal on the grounds that there isn’t enough parking in the busy area already.

But councillors voted by seven to two to give the scheme the go-ahead.