Strategic Growth Plan and Expressway

Update – May 2019

Councillor Phil King, who took charge of Harborough District Council in early May, says other options need to be properly looked at before settling on a plan that involves ‘carpeting over hundreds of acres of green land’.

The proposed A46 Expressway would broadly run in a loop from the Hobby Horse Roundabout near Syston before arcing round the city and joining the M1 between Junctions 20 and 21 and then continuing to the M69 at Hinckley.

No precise route has yet been disclosed but the expressway would create a corridor where some 38,000 homes could be built.

This mirrors concerns expressed by Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough, Oadby & Wigston.

The CPRE, South and East Leicestershire Action Group and Willoughby Waterleys Residents Association arranged a protest meeting at the Billesdon Coplow Centre on 4th April 2019. It was packed with hundreds of people. The groups are demanding alternative solutions to the proposed Expressway road which would see hundreds of hectares of Leicestershire countryside destroyed if it ever gets built.

A spokesman for the councils promoting the SGP said: “Population predictions to 2036 and beyond suggest that 118,000 new homes will be needed in the city and county.

“We can’t bury our heads in the sand – we know these homes will be required and we need to be at the forefront of planning, to get the right supporting infrastructure in place, for the benefit of both our countryside and our city.

It’s important to stress that the route of any new road has not been determined yet.

“We would take into account villagers’ feelings once we know where the road would go, should the scheme be deemed appropriate by the decision-makers.”

Update – October 2018

Following the public consultation, a revised plan has been agreed by a members’ advisory group (MAG) representing all the partners. It will now be used to help shape the Local Plans that the city, borough and district councils are preparing or reviewing.

Each district/borough will be taking the revised plan to their full council meetings from November to December to seek approval of the plan. Harborough District Council are due to agree their position on 10 December.

Strategic Growth Plan

The Strategic Growth Plan is the overarching plan which will set out the aspirations for delivering growth in Leicester and Leicestershire until 2050. Although the Plan will be non-statutory it will be used as a basis for preparing or reviewing individual Local Plans, transport plans and economic plans.

The nine local authorities in Leicester and Leicestershire (Blaby DC, Charnwood BC, Harborough DC, Hinckley & Bosworth BC, Melton BC, North West Leicestershire DC, Oadby & Wigston BC, Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City) and the LLEP are preparing the Plan.  It’s preparation  is being overseen by a Members’ Advisory Group (MAG), which includes representatives from each of the local authorities, together with the LLEP whose representative attends as an observer.

A critical part of the plan is the A46 Expressway which would have to be funded by central Government and joins from the Hobby Horse roundabout on the A46 at Syston around the east of Leicester passing over the A47 between Bushby/Thurnby and Houghton-on-the-Hill, then around south of Oadby to cross the A6 just north of Great Glen, before meeting the M1 at a new Junction 20A, where Leicester Forest East Services will be moved to. It will then continue to meet the M69. This route will have no roundabouts. If built by 2031 it will form the Leicestershire section of a new strategic A46 route from Lincolnshire to Gloucestershire.

A consultation event was organised for Saturday 3 March from 1.30pm until 4pm in Great Glen Village Hall. Everybody was very welcome to find out more details and how to comment. Officers were available to answer queries.

As the economy and population grows, plans for employment and housing developments will continue to come forward – whether we like it or not. Having a joint Strategic Growth Plan will help districts and the city realise the opportunities and manage the risks of growth.

A transport assessment of more local impacts is being prepared and the delay might mean the consultation period on the whole Strategic Growth Plan being extended.  I am expecting mention to be made of the A6 between Oadby and Market Harborough, and the heavy congestion currently experienced for traffic at peak periods passing through the Kibworths. No mention has been made in the consultation draft of the huge housing and business developments just off the A14 near Kettering and Burton Latimer.

The Strategic Growth Plan will:

  • Give confidence, to the market, Government, local businesses and residents, that the Councils and the LLEP are working together effectively on a shared ambition that is based on a solid understanding of the opportunities and risks.
  • Provide businesses and other organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire, with some direction and certainty, when they are planning for their own growth.

The plan will make it possible to control – jointly, for Leicester and Leicestershire:

  • how expected population and economic growth will be accommodated and supported;
  • how existing problems can be resolved;
  • what type of development is needed and by when;
  • what is the most appropriate location for these developments;
  • which environmental assets should be protected and enhanced;
  • what investment in services and infrastructure is required where and by when.

A consultation on the draft plan opened on 11 January and finished on 10 May.  This website gives more details.