Villages join forces to oppose housing plans (Leicester mercury 22/7/09)

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Villages join forces to oppose housing plans (Leicester mercury 22/7/09)

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:28 pm

Parish councils and residents' groups are rallying against plans to build 140 new houses in their area.

They say a planning application by Bloor Homes to build on a greenfield site next to Groby Cemetery will put huge pressure on roads and services.

They also fear it will open the floodgates to further development.

The prospect of building on the site – which is in the parish of Ratby – has already generated hundreds of letters of objections from local residents after it was designated by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council as a "preferred site'' for new building in the future.

However, those letters will not be taken into account in the consideration of the planning application.
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The council's long-term building policy has not yet been finalised and parish councillors are concerned that the Bloor application will pre-empt that process and that planning officers would be "predisposed'' to agree it.

Groby Parish Council held an emergency meeting to allow residents to discuss the issue last week and voted to vigorously oppose it.

Ratby Parish Council has called one for tonight, in the Bull's Head pub in Ratby.

A statement by Groby Parish Council, which is chaired by Groby borough councillor Peter Batty, said there were serious road safety fears for pupils of Brookvale High School and Groby Community College, as the proposed entrance to the development would be close to where a student died in an accident last year.

Other residents strongly objected to more strain being placed on the "woefully inadequate'' local infrastructure including over-capacity schools, over-subscribed doctors and dentist's surgeries and "the daily gridlock'' on the roads.

The statement said: "There is absolutely no evidence of a local need for more new houses for sale.

"The proposed development would only attract more affluent commuters bringing more chaos to the two villages."

Ratby's borough councillors, Ozzy O'Shea and Chris Boothby, also plan to fight the plans. Mr O'Shea said one of many issues was the location outside the present Ratby building line setting a precedent for more building on the fields around.

He said: "We would be opening the floodgates. There is no infrastructure for all these houses. We can't take any more houses. We can't sustain it."

Trevor Prowse, the borough council's director of community and planning services, said: "The planning application is currently being assessed and considered by officers with a view to putting a report before the planning committee in September."

He said it was being handled no differently to any other application.

Nobody from Bloor Homes was available to comment.

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