Simon Galton

Liberal Democrat County & District Councillor Learn more

Latest news on the planning application for 250 houses off Pulford Drive, Scraptoft and Thurnby

by simongalton on 28 July, 2010

Following the public meeting in Fernvale School on 10 June over 100 letters of objection have been sent to Harborough District Council.  Many local residents have asked to be kept informed as the planning application progresses through its stages and this report provides an update on the current situation. If you haven’t already sent your views and comments to the Council it’s not too late to write. The planning application is now expected to be considered by the Planning Committee in September. The date of the meeting is Tuesday 7th September but we will let you know when it is confirmed that the application will be on the agenda. The planning officer’s report and recommendation will be available a week before the meeting. The meetings start at 6.30pm in the Council Offices at Market Harborough and are open to the public.One of the reasons why the application has been delayed is that the County Archaeologist has advised that there could be Roman remains under the site. They have requested trail trenching and investigations befroe the planning application is determined. Officers are currently in discussion with Jelsons about whether this can be done befroe the crop is cut.

Many local residents have rasied concerns about flooding and drainage issues. Photographs have been submitted shoiwng Thurnby Brook bursting its banks several tiems during the past 10 years. I have written to the Envrionment Agency about this, and i know that the Council has forwarded information to the Envrionment Agency which is responsible for advising the Council on whether the developers proposals are acceptable. A study commissioned by Jelsons claims that by creating storage ponds alongside the brook, water run off from the houses can be stored and onlyreleased at times when the brook could accept the flow.

The Council has also received a lot of information about wildlife and protected species in and around the site. The planning officer has asked the County ecologist to advise on these issues.

Another key concern has been the highways and traffic. Disappointingly the County Council as the highways authority has informed Harborough Council that it will not be objecting to the application. This was after requesting additional information from Jelsons about the impact of the David Wilson Homes development off Covert Lane which had not been taken into account in the original transport assessment commissioned by Jelsons. The highway’s officer’s observations conclude that, subject to the developers funding various alterations and improvements, although significant, “the development will not have an unaccetable impact on the surrounding road network”!

The Coalition Government has recently abolished Regional Plans which means that the Council is no longer bound by regional housing targets and other policies which specified the minimum number of houses whihc had to be built in Harborough District adjacent to the City boundary. The policies in the Harborough Local Plan should form the basis for consideration the application. The most relevant of these is the policy EV/3 which established a Seperation Area between Thurnby and Scraptoft. This states the Distrcit Council will refuse proposals for development that would compromise the existing degree of seperation between Scraptoft and Thurnby.

We have done our best to keep you informed about Jelsons’ plans since we first learned they had been submitted to the Council in May. We will continue to raise concerns received from local residents and question information submitted by the applicant where we feel this is incomplete or unsatisfactory.

Most importantly we will continue to keep you informed.

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