Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has decided not to ‘call in’ an application for some 4,250 homes, employment, schools and other uses on land to the west of the M1, Lubbesthorpe.
Plans for the Lubbesthorpe development were approved by Councillors on November 1 at Blaby District Council’s Development Control Committee.
The planning application was referred to the Secretary of State in November 2012. He was asked to decide whether he wanted to determine the application himself or whether Blaby District Council could issue the decision.
The Secretary of State has allowed the Council to grant planning permission, subject to a number of conditions and completion of a legal agreement to secure items such as new schools, road improvements and other necessary infrastructure.
The Council will be issuing a decision when it is in a position to do so.
Objectors to the development have said they are disappointed but not surprised.
Paul Fox, secretary of the protest group Leicester Forest East Residents’ Action Group, told local media:
“I’m obviously bitterly disappointed by the Government’s decision not to call the decision in because it will affect people outside the area and is going to have a major impact on the road network.
“I’m not surprised because this is the decision we all expected, but now we have very limited options for preventing it.”
The council will be officially giving the developers planning permission imminently, following which, each of the developers – Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes, Davidsons Developments and Hallam Land Management – will have to make individual planning applications for sections of the development.
Mr Fox said the objectors would continue to monitor what was happening on the site.
“As this is only outline planning permission, there will be more specific planning applications coming that we shall monitor closely.”
A determined Mr Fox indicated it was likely objectors would seek an order from the European Court of Human Rights to limit the number of new houses in the area due to the high levels of nitrogen dioxide along the M1 corridor saying that local councillors and the Government haven’t listened to the objections, but maybe they will listen in Europe.”
More than 1,300 people objected to the 973-acre development during two years of consultation citing concerns over traffic congestion and the loss of green land to flooding.
On the other hand Blaby District Council is under pressure to build its target of 8,500 houses by 2029 and Lubbesthorpe will help it reach almost half that target.
For more information on the Lubbesthorpe plan visit www.blaby.gov.uk/lubbesthorpe
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Read story in the local press (Leicester Mercury)