Pickles' deadline looms on long-running homes battle - The Rugby Observer

Pickles' deadline looms on long-running homes battle

Rugby Editorial 21st May, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

THE deadline for a High Court challenge to be made over the government’s decision to block 111 new homes in Broughton Astley is a week away – with the developer yet to decide whether to make a third attempt to push through the plans.

Secretary of State for communities Eric Pickles has set a May 29 cut off over the long-talked about housing on land off Crowfoot Way south of Hallbrook Primary School.

Last month he overturned a planning inspector’s recommendation it went ahead following an appeal against Harborough District Council’s refusal to give planning permission last year.

Mr Pickles said other sites in the recently approved Neighbourhood Plan, which he said could not be ignored, would be more suitable for development.

It was seen as a sign of his commitment to his so-called Localism plans giving communities more of a say in their growth.

Rachel Padfield, of Sworders Chartered Surveyors, which is handling the Crowfoot Way application, told The Observer she was unable to confirm whether a challenge would be made to the High Court.

The planning inspector, in his report published last month, had said the district’s unsatisfactory level of housing land supply outweighed the Neighbourhood Plan and other local planning policies.

He described the Crowfoot Way plans as sustainable, adding he could find no problems with access and said there would be only a moderate effect on the character and appearance of the area if the houses, sports hall and outdoor pitches, neighbourhood centre and open space went ahead.

Christine Lord, parish manager, told The Observer: “Whilst the Secretary of State agreed with some aspects of the planning inspector’s report, his decision was not only important to Broughton Astley, but also to the many Neighbourhood Plans in development at present.

“We await the end of the appeal period with bated breath.”

The Neighbourhood Plan, drawn up by villagers themselves and the first in Leicestershire, favours home building north and south of Broughton Way, and land on Coventry Road with a smaller site on Dunton Road in reserve, and also earmarks where people would like employment, leisure and medical facilities to go.

This is its third victory after the district council turned down an application for 24 homes on land off Dunton Road in January, citing the plan as a ‘material consideration’, and David Wilson Homes withdraw its appeal against the refusal of permission for more than 100 homes on Frolesworth Road.

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