These are my comments on a Leicestershire County Council paper entitled 'Consequences of Growth in Coalville' in which I raise concerns regarding the viability of housing growth in SE Coalville due to the lack of transport infrastructure investment
Re Paper to Cabinet for the 18th November, regarding the “Consequences of Growth in Coalville”
As Local Member, I can report that residents in my division are relieved that none of the proposed options put forward in the consultation for improvement work at Hugglescote Crossroads should be pursued further.
Lack of funding
I understand that, after receiving strong opposition to the proposals to demolish the community centre and widen the crossroads, Highways have admitted that the Authority has no funding identified in its budgets for the delivery of any scheme at the Crossroads. There is no money to acquire land associated with any approved widening scheme or to fund possible planning blight claims.
Instead priority will be given to developing a package of infrastructure to deliver growth in Coalville concentrating on the A511 and Bardon Link.
Pressure on Hugglescote Cross Roads
During the consultation the Crossroads Action Group presented independent evidence showing that pressure on Hugglescote Cross Roads is due to rat-running from the congested A511.
It should be noted that the "Bardon Link" mentioned in the report is not a "by-pass". It is merely an estate road that will enable access to the 2700+ houses proposed for land off Grange Road.
Risk to economic prosperity and housing growth
I am concerned that, without significant investment in transport in North West Leicestershire we may never see the economic prosperity housing growth is supposed to deliver for Coalville.
Cabinet are advised that, since the Hugglescote Crossroads consultation exercise, “discussions have been held with North West Leicestershire District Council with a view to developing an infrastructure package to support growth in Coalville” and that this could lead to a Single Local Growth Fund bid.
In my view the SE Coalville development is being put in jeopardy by the lack of provision for the A511 Bardon Road By-Pass.
In order to monitor progress on the Council’s approach to area wide transport and delivery in North West Leicestershire, I have requested that the NWL Highways Forum be kept updated on the following issues:-
- · The additional work being undertaken by LCC to develop the infrastructure package, including all junctions between M1 Junction 22 and A42 Junction 13
- · Progress in modelling and advanced design of highways infrastructure schemes, including in and around Coalville
- · Progress by NWLDC in securing funding for transport infrastructure to mitigate the impact of growth in Coalville including interventions necessary to facilitate the “Bardon Link”
- · A reassessment by Highways of the viability of a “Bardon By-Pass” scheme.
- · In the absence of a Bardon By-Pass, an assessment by NWLDC of the viability of the SE Coalville development as a means of maximising the opportunities for developer contributions
- · A joint assessment from LCC Highways and NWLDC as to the likelihood of any future Single Local Growth Fund being successful.
I am pleased to see that Highways are now in discussion with NWLDC. Most of the housing growth planned for SE Coalville takes place within Hugglescote and Donington le Heath Parish boundary. In the months preceding the consultation, Hugglescote Parish Council made a number of requests to meet with Highways to discuss how transport infrastructure in SE Coalville could maximise community benefit and facilitate housing growth. No engagement took place prior to the formal consultation exercise.
I would ask Cabinet to recommend to Highways officers that discussions with NWLDC should be extended to include Hugglescote and Donington le Heath Parish Council.
I have been advised that members of the Parish Planning Group would be pleased to work with this Council to develop a transport infrastructure package that can support much needed housing growth whilst minimising the adverse effects on the existing community.