Latest news – September 2019
Following an inspection and subsequent report by the Planning Inspectorate, the appeal is allowed, and the reserved matters are approved, namely appearance, landscaping, layout and scale submitted in pursuance of Condition 1 attached to planning permission Ref 17/00579/OUT dated 19 October 2017, and subject to the conditions set out in the attached schedule. In addition, the details submitted pursuant to Conditions 4, 7, 10, 11, and 23 attached to planning permission Ref 17/00579/OUT dated 19 October 2017, in accordance with application Ref 18/01082/REM dated 22 June 2018, are approved.
Consideration is now being given to any means of appealing this decision by Great Glen objectors.
At the Planning Committee meeting at HDC on 6 November, the reserved matters application (18/01082/REM) was refused for this reason:
The proposed development, notwithstanding the extant outline consent and taking note of APP/F2415/W/17/3167654, shall have an adverse landscape impact particularly because of inadequate landscape mitigation which, considered with level changes across the site, shall damage the character and amenity of the area and does not reflect the landscape in which it is situated. The proposal is therefore contrary to Core Strategy policy CS11(c)(v) and the NPPF (including paragraph 130) considered as a whole, as this conflict does not represent sustainable development.
It is now up to the developer, Manor Oak Homes, to consider an appeal (they have 6 months to decide), or to put in a new reserved matters application following modification of their plans in line with the comments made and decision of the planning committee.
At the Planning Committee meeting at HDC in September, the application was deferred because the landscape and levels were disputed.
Update December 2017
The Hands Off Great Glen (HOGG) group and the parish council have written to HDC planners requesting that they revoke the decision to approve the 17/00579/OUT application because of the Planning Inquiry outcome, i.e. to refuse the original application. The second application was very similar to the original application.
At the HDC full council meeting on 18th December, a motion for a debate on the matter was included on the agenda:
To consider a Notice of Motion
The following Notice of Motion has been submitted by Councillor Knowles and seconded by Councillor Galton in accordance with Procedure rule 12.1 of Part 4(1) of the Council’s Constitution: “Members will be aware of the seemingly potentially confusing and unusual situation regarding the Great Glen Planning Applications and Planning Inspectors Decision over the past few weeks. We move that this matter be the subject of a debate this evening by full Council with the standing orders suspended to allow Members to speak more than once. Officers be asked to explain to Members the sequence if events that took place, why these events took place and relevant decisions were made and what lessons, if any, are to be learned for the future ?”
The motion for the debate was not supported by members of HDC so it did not take place, and officers produced a response to the matter – see GG Oaks Rd HDC debate
A major concern expressed in the report is that any compensation that might be due to the developers, if the application approval was revoked, could run into 6, 7 or even 8 figures, as it might include not just the cost of sales and the appeal to date, but also the lost profit if the estate had been built out and all 170 houses sold.
HOGG and the parish council are taking further advice on what steps they could take. One possible action is to ask that the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, intervene to revoke the 17/00579/OUT planning permission.
One other point is that Miller Homes still haven’t submitted their Reserved Matters planning application. If this was refused by the planning system at HDC, in the light of the Planning Inquiry outcome, then this decision might also be appealed, and then the outcome of that appeal could finally decide the matter.
Publication of the decision by the Planning Inspector on the appeal against 16/01501/OUT has been made (20th November). The Inspector’s decision is to refuse the appeal, i.e. the original decision by the HDC Planning Committee in March 2017 is supported. The appeal public inquiry was held in the middle of October 2017 (10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th)
Harborough District Council planning committee approved the latest plans (17/00579/OUT) at their meeting on 4 July in line with the officer’s recommendations! This was despite an expert report by landscape specialists explaining why this location is unsuitable – as already described in the Great Glen Neighbourhood Plan. The oral objections and landscape expert’s report were effectively ignored as the committee votes 6:5 to approve. There was a large contingent of Great Glen residents present who vented their frustration after the vote.
The decision has been called-in by the Hands Off Great Glen (HOGG) group of residents, and the parish council, and supported by Neil O’Brien MP and myself. This means the national Planning Casework Unit (PCU) will now analyse the process and if it is found to be unsound, they may ask the Secretary of State to investigate and possibly intervene in the decision.
New plans submitted by developer (April 2017)
A new application has been received from Miller Homes 17/00579/OUT for the land off Oaks Road. It is still for 170 homes.
A public meeting to inform residents as to what is happening including updates from the Hands Off Great Glen Group and the Parish Council has been arranged for 7pm in the Youth Centre on Thursday 4th May.
The Hands Off Great Glen Group (HOGG) – details below, have also produced a flyer: HOGG Campaign Update Final
Plans refused by HDC planning Committee (March 2017)
Despite a recommendation by the officer to approve the plans (16/01501/OUT), the planning committee members voted to refuse this application by Miller Homes, despite the fact the developer had already started an appeal process for non-determination (taking too long for a decision).
There were a number of outstanding reports that were not available to the committee, including an updated archaeological report, and a decision on re-routing the X3 Arriva bus service along Coverside Road. Also the Highways comments were received on the day of the committee meeting so members had not been able to be fully briefed.
My submission to HDC Planning – 2 November 2016
I am the county councillor representing the Gartree Division which includes the Glen Ward. I attended the fiesty public meeting in the Great Glen Village Hall on 19 October where well over 100 members of the local community voiced their concerns. I also attended the extraordinary parish council meeting in the Youth Centre held on 25th October, and where about 80 members of the public also attended.
This proposed development by Miller Homes is in the worst possible location for such a new estate in Great Glen. All traffic generated by the development, including construction traffic, will have to pass through the centre of the village. Oaks Road has cars parked along most of its length on one side or the other, with many houses not having off-road parking provision. This makes Oaks Road effectively into a one car width road for much of its length. The proposed mitigation of a mini roundabout at the junction of Oaks Road with Stretton Road is not going to alleviate congestion at peak times, rather it will exacerbate the problems.
The proposed location is greenfield land outside the limits of development, and has been graded as unsuitable (Red) for a wide range of assessments in the submitted version of the Great Glen Neighbourhood Plan with a specific instruction that it should not be considered for development within the new Local Plan period to 2031. In terms of the landscape the Neighbourhood Plan makes this comment, which I fully agree with: “A massive potential overdevelopment that is not needed in the Parish. An unnecessary extension into open space that will skew the built form of the village in an unacceptable way and allow growth in the least sustainable direction for Great Glen, given the current built form. Incongruous development that will dominate and ruin the skyline.”
It is contrary to CS17 – as it does not protect the heritage of the ridge and furrow on part of the site, which would be lost. It is also contrary to para 6.59 that excludes Great Glen from further largescale development because of the existing build out and assimilation of that large GG/2 estate on Stretton Road, into the community infrastructure.
It is contrary to CS2 – outside limits of development and not in keeping with the scale and character of the settlement. Para 5.9 states: “Given the level of existing commitments additional housing development in Kibworth and Great Glen (other than small scale infill development) is not planned.” Neither are large numbers of housing being proposed for Great Glen in the emerging new Local Plan as discussed by the HDC Local Plan Executive Advisory Panel.
It is contrary to CS11 – New development should be directed away from undeveloped areas of land which are important to the form and character of a settlement or locality.
Although there has been no formal comment yet by the Highways Authority, it is clear that the generation of several hundred additional vehicles on Oaks Road is going to cause major congestion. This is highly likely to lead to alternative routes being found to avoid congestion in the centre of the village, especially at peak times. Alternative routes along Coverside Road and Stretton Road, or even via Burton Overy and Carlton Curlieu to access the A6, are very likely if this development is granted permission. This level of traffic chaos is definitely not supported by local planning policies, nor should it be supported by planning officers or elected members of the planning committee.
I request that this application be refused citing a number of the policies in both the Core Strategy and Great Glen Neighbourhood Plan, several of which are summarised above.
Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting – 25 October 2016
I was able to attend this meeting held in the Youth Centre, Main Street. I would estimate about 80 members of the public attended. After several people had made their comments, the chairman, Cllr Bill Glasper, asked the parish councillors for general comments on what had been said. He then proposed, due to the lack of a full public consultation with every household, that the parish council produces a leaflet and that this be delivered to every household. The parish council can then make their decision about the application knowing that every resident/household is aware of the application and has been given the opportunity to state whether objecting or supporting. It is hoped that the returned leaflets will be analysed in time for the next Full Parish Council meeting on 8th November, or the one after on 13th December, in the Parish Office when the council will be able to take a decision on this planning application with a better knowledge about the community viewpoint.
Public Meeting 19 October 2016
I attended the meeting called by the parish council with the developer, Miller Homes, at 6pm on this Wednesday evening. It had had to be moved from the adjacent Youth Centre to the Village Hall because so many people attended. I would estimate at least 200 people. Miller Homes had display boards around the outside of the room with maps and images; there were several Miller Homes staff available to answer questions. Miller Homes had questionnaires available for people to complete. The parish council were also inviting residents to complete a simple questionnaire about their views on the proposed development.
Cllr Bill Glasper, chairman of Great Glen Parish Council, valiantly tried to explain the processes and facts to date. He explained the parish council had not yet met to agree a position about the application – object, support or neutral. This decision would be made at an extraordinary parish council meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 25th October probably in the Youth Centre as many people indicated they would like to attend this public meeting. The parish council has met on a number of occasions with Miller Homes – all minuted in council documents, but these were an opportunity for Miller Homes to explain their thoughts especially about the Oaks Road/Stretton Road junction. I and district councillors have frequently also been at these public parish council meetings.
I will be writing in to HDC to register my objections. I will cite that this applications is counter to several Core Strategy policies, to several emerging Neighbourhood Plan policies and could lead to rat runs through Coverside and down to Stretton Road to avoid logjams at the bottom of Oaks Road, or the rat runs through Burton Overy village to access the A6. The chairman of Burton Overy Parish Council, Cllr Fran Brown, was also present at this public meeting.