County Councillor for Gartree – June 2024

Following two countywide consultations, the cabinet have approved changes to the opening days for the Kibworth and Market Harborough Recycling and Waste Sites.

Kibworth will change to be open four days a week on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays, with Market Harborough open the other days of the week on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays. These changes are expected this autumn.

Two studies have been jointly commissioned by the partnership of Leicester & Leicestershire Authorities to inform the delivery of the Strategic Growth Plan.

The Strategic Growth Options and Constraints Mapping Study (SGO Study) has been prepared by AECOM to assist the partnership when considering locational choices around delivery of the long-term vision set out within the Strategic Growth Plan to 2050 and to determine whether they offer suitable and appropriate solutions to deliver sustainable locations for new communities and economic growth.
The Strategic Transport Assessment Stage 1(STA1) was prepared by Leicestershire County Council as the Local Transport Authority, commissioned in a consultancy role for this piece of work. Through assessing and comparing the respective transport implications of four differing housing distribution scenarios between 2036 and 2051, it is intended to provide a further piece of evidence to help identify how growth should be distributed across Leicester & Leicestershire over the long term.

Overall, the findings from the two studies have provided further evidence in support of the spatial strategy set out within the SGP. Each local authority has an annual target for home building set by Government. However, strategic planning across different authority areas helps get the best out of development in terms of funding for infrastructure and improvements to services such as roads, health services etc. The SGP is about strategic planning over the long term and managing growth to ensure people have not only homes and jobs, but also the infrastructure required to support them whilst minimising negative impacts on, and creating benefits for, the environment we need to protect.
Clusters and corridors were shown through AECOM’s analysis to offer the highest potential to deliver good growth in the long term. One area is around the new freeport near the East Midlands Airport; one area is west of Melton Mowbray near Six Hills; one area is either side of the A5 corridor between Lutterworth and Hinckley; and, the fourth area is a crescent running from east of Leicester, around the south and over to the west of Leicester.

Significant strategic developments usually require Government funding, and having a strategic plan backed by evidence helps secure the funding required for these projects.

The information in the STA1 and SGP are important when local planning authorities e.g. Harborough, are considering their Local Plans, as locations considered unsustainable because of a lack of infrastructure will not be appropriate for new communities.

Harborough District Council are planning the next round of public consultations (Regulation 19 and 20) on the new Local Plan between January and March 2025. This is when potential development sites for both housing and employment across the district are made public and responses sought from landowners, parishes, developers and residents.

Harborough District Council planners will be seeking to submit their new Local Plan for examination only when all responses, including objections, to the consultation have been adequately considered.

Kevin Feltham