Villagers wary of big '˜bypass' plan

The propose site for 1,600 new homes.The propose site for 1,600 new homes.
The propose site for 1,600 new homes.
Villagers in Kibworth have reacted warily to a proposal to build 1,600 homes and a bypass to the north of the village.

The plan, put forward on behalf of local landowners including Merton College, Oxford, would increase the population of Kibworth by about 50 per cent, taking it to more than 10,000 people.

As well as the homes, the scheme offers a new Kibworth primary school, employment land a relief road around the village.

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But County councillor and Kibworth Harcourt parish council chairman Dr Kevin Feltham said: “It’s a worry. I think the developers have jumped the gun with this plan.”

And Chris Wood, chairman of Kibworth Beauchamp parish council said: “It would mean a huge, huge increase in the population of Kibworth, and I’m anxious about the rate of growth.”

A leaflet distributed in Kibworth last Thursday invited villagers to a public consultation on the new development.

The drop-in consultation will be held at Kibworth Grammar School Hall on Wednesday, July 20 from 4pm to 8pm.

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Both Dr Feltham and Mr Wood urged as many local people as possible to attend and make their views known.

The leaflet emphasised the ‘Kibworth bypass’ element of the proposal, which developers say would “relieve the current traffic problem on the A6”.

But Cllr Feltham said: “This plan is nothing more than kite flying on behalf of the developers.

“Harborough District Council has still to decide where to concentrate future development in the district.

“We’ll look at the plan, but the jury’s still out.”

Mr Wood asked: “Will this scheme really benefit the community of Kibworth?

“It’s not addressing underlying issues like access to the A6 from the village and congestion on the High Street.”