A controversial planning application for 79 homes on land adjacent to Agar Nook Lane in Coalville was passed at a meeting of the planning committee on August 5th.
The application from David Wilson Homes on a greenfield site described as an area of particularly attractive countryside (APAC) by Planning Officers, was recommended for refusal, but the Tory majority on the planning committee rejected the recommendations and approved the application.
Local Labour Councillors Ron Adams and Nick Clarke arranged a public meeting attended by over 50 people earlier in the year, where the application was debated at length. They also arranged for a delegation of local residents to meet with Planning Officers at NW Leics District Council, where a number of concerns were highlighted to Officers.
Councillor Nick Clarke, who spoke in support of residents at the meeting said; “I am astonished and extremely disappointed with the outcome. The first time in months Councillors have had good planning reasons to stop development on a greenfield site and Tory Councillors decide to go against planning officers advice. There is huge local opposition to the development of this, and surrounding land, and residents have been very proactive in making their feelings known. It is incredible that their voice has been ignored in this way."
Councillor Ron Adams, who is a member of the planning committee said after the meeting; “I believe the planning officers recommendations were perfectly well founded when they stated that the preservation of an APAC outweighed all other planning considerations, but I did raise concerns with regard to the negative impact of extra traffic generated by the development on Highway safety as well. Leicestershire & Rutland wildlife trust also put together an excellent case why this land should be preserved. However, the Tories chose to ignore all this and support the developer. I am absolutely gob smacked!"