A statement has been issued by Councillor Ernie White, Leader of Blaby District Council, regarding the legal challenge to the planning permission for New Lubbesthorpe, mounted by Sir Clive Loader – Leicesterhire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
“We are delighted that the judge Mr Justice Foskett made a very clear decision when he found in favour of Blaby District Council after hearing the Judicial Review submitted by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Leicestershire seeking to quash the planning permission for the new community of Lubbesthorpe.
“Lubbesthorpe will deliver over £159m of much needed infrastructure including 4,250 new homes of which at least 25% will be affordable homes, 1,530 new jobs, extensive (205 hectares) public open space, three new schools, transport infrastructure and improvements, community facilities and over £1.6m to Leicestershire Police to pay for vehicles, communication equipment and premises.
“Blaby District Council is saddened that the PCC chose to take this action. It has cost the local taxpayer a lot of money, delayed the delivery of much needed homes and jobs and wasted everyone’s time and energy.
“Despite the recent legal action taken by the PCC the Council has continued to enjoy excellent working arrangements with the operational teams at Leicestershire Police.
“We now look forward to seeing things start moving as Lubbesthorpe delivers the jobs, homes and opportunities that local people need.”
The planning application was submitted in February 2011 and comprises:
Outline application for 4,250 dwellings, a mixed use district centre and two mixed use local centres featuring a supermarket, retail, commercial, employment, leisure, health, community and residential uses, non-residential institutions including a secondary school, primary schools and nurseries, an employment site of 21 hectares, open spaces, woodlands, new access points and associated facilities and infrastructure, and detailed proposals for two new road bridges over the M1 motorway and M69 motorway, and two road access points from Beggars Lane and new accesses from Meridian Way, Chapel Green/Baines Lane and Leicester Lane.
In November 2012 the Council’s Development Control Committee resolved to grant outline planning permission subject to concluding a Section 106 Agreement to secure the provision of infrastructure including affordable housing, a health centre, schools, highway improvements and a contribution towards policing.
The Secretary of State for the Environment had to be notified of the Council’s resolution and in March 2013 the Council was told that the Secretary of State did not want to make his own decision on the application and the Council could proceed to issue a decision when able to do so.
Then followed a period of extensive negotiation with a range of partners and the developers to secure contributions in an agreement that met as far as possible the range of requests the Council had received.
The negotiations were concluded early in December 2013 and then all the parties to the agreement proceeded to sign it. The Council, the final signatory, signed the agreement on 13 January 2014 and issued the outline planning permission on 14 January 2014.
Without any forewarning, on 20 March, the Police and Crime Commissioner launched a legal action in the High Court seeking to quash the Council’s grant of outline planning permission.