Town estate goes ahead on appeal

Planning permission has been granted for a new 250-home estate - despite the scheme being turned down by Harborough District Council.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 12:50 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:00 am

The new houses will now be built on land off Coventry Road, Lutterworth, after a Planning Inspector overturned the council’s refusal.

Council planners had originally rejected the Mulberry Property Developments Ltd, scheme in a meeting on May 3 last year.

They decided the estate would encroach too much into the green “buffer zone” between Lutterworth and the huge Magna Park distribution hub.

At the time, Cllr Richard Tomlin said: “There are some merits to this scheme.

“It’s just going to squeeze too much the green strip of land between the edge of Lutterworth and the very dominant Magna Park.”

But in a decision published last week, a Planning Inspector disagreed with the district council’s view.

The Inspector said the loss of countryside would have an adverse effect on the area - but not a great one.

The Inspector said there would still be a “considerable area of open space” between Lutterworth and Magna Park.

And the Inspector’s report gave greater weight to the district council’s lack of a five year supply of land for housing, adding that Lutterworth could cope with extra houses.

The report concluded: “The provision of up to 250 new dwellings on a site that is available, deliverable and in an accessible location, carries substantial weight in favour of the proposal in meeting housing need.

“Moreover, future residents would help to maintain and support local businesses within Lutterworth, providing some economic benefit.”

The site would be accessed from a new four-arm roundabout that will replace the existing Coventry Road/Brookfield Way junction

The developer’s original plan included 7.7 acres set aside for allotments.

The theory was these could replace the present town allotments on De Verdon Road.

Dave Beaumont, chairman of Lutterworth Allotments Association, said at the time: ““I’ve seen this solution on the Mulberry Development plans, and I think it’s a good idea.”