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Controversial plans to build thousands of homes on green fields in Barwell have stalled. The Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) is no nearer the first foundations being laid a decade after its inception and almost two years after permission was granted. More »
Dozens of consultations and countless meetings have been held and thousands of pounds have been spent thus far but developers and the council remain unable to sign off legal agreements.
The impasse is also delaying the Earl Shilton SUE, which hasn't yet reached the planning application stage despite years of discussions going back to 2009.
Both developments, which Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have been relying on to fulfil the house building requirements up to 2026, are highly contentious.
In 2012 a parish referendum in Barwell saw 96% of voters reject the proposals which centre on 2,500 homes and 6.2 hectares of employment land on 127 hectares to the north and west of the village.
Barwell borough and parish councillor Russ Roberts said he was sceptical as to whether the project would ever actually come to fruition, adding: "Localism has not worked for local people or local councils, all it's worked for is developers. I get the impression the developers are stalling it and until the 106 is signed off nothing will happen."
He said planning consent for other major schemes in Nuneaton and further along the A5 corridor could have diverted focus away from the complex SUEs which are supposed to include infrastructure such as schools, GP surgeries and recreational space.
The consortium brought together to deliver the Barwell SUE - Ainscough Strategic Land, Barwood Development Securities and Taylor Wimpey - have already secured a reduction in financial contributions and cash for affordable homes.
Cllr Roberts said: "It seems to me that it is better for the developers to just sit on the land, they don't have to put the cash into infrastructure and they can just pick off the sites piecemeal.
"The worrying thing is without the SUEs we may not be able to show a 5% future housing supply which will mean builders will cherry pick as and when they like."
While not as pessimistic as his Tory colleague, council leader Mike Hall did admit the lack of progress on the SUE was both disappointing and frustrating and had dragged on too long.
He said he hoped potential incoming legislation might force developers to speed things up, adding: "I believe it will happen.
"We are in a position where there is a lot to agree but by and large most of it is close to being signed off. "Perhaps it may be 10 years rather than five.
"The developers want to take their time over it and if they have multiple sites they might see other sites as easier or more profitable. They are making the choices as to what is the best site for them which is not necessarily what we want as a community. The balance of power is too much in the builders' hands." » Less
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:27 by Deputy Clerk
A number of roads are having the regular restricted road status lifted and the new traffic enforcement introduced. Streets in Barwell village centre are to get a 20mph speed limit as part of the county council's highways improvements plan. More »
Local authorities can make the change in response to concerns over speeding and increase in pedestrian use on streets lined by street lamps which are automatically 30mph zones. The new speed limit is subject to a public notice put out by Leicestershire County Council which can be viewed online. People are invited to make comment by no later than March 1.
The 20mph zone will affect High Street, from its junction to and up 340m of Malt Mill Bank; Kirkby Road from its junction and up to 172m on Stapleton Lane; Stapleton Lane and up Malt Mill Bank for 126m and Shilton Road from its junction with Malt Mill Bank to its junction with King Street.
Other roads will be affected in their entirety and these are Stanley Street, Doctor Cookes Close, The Barracks, Shoesmith Close, Friswell Lane, Townend Road, Malt Mill Bank and East Green.
Objections to the proposals, specifying the grounds on which they are made, can be emailed to email@example.com or via the online comment form quoting reference JM/HTWMT/3508. » Less
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:15 by Deputy Clerk
PEOPLE in Hinckley and Bosworth are being invited to have their say on how crime should be tackled within the borough.
Your views are needed as part of a national survey that is being conducted by the Government to find out what people think should be done to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods. The Government also wants to know how policing can be improved and what can be done to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system. More »
Please complete the online survey above as your views and opinions really do count » Less
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:42 by Deputy Clerk