Eco-town inspired by Paris and Barcelona
Architecture found in Paris, Barcelona and London has been used by developers as inspiration for their vision of an eco-town.
The Leicester Mercury can exclusively reveal new artist's impressions showing what Pennbury would look like if it is built.
Co-op Estates has produced watercolour paintings showing the 15,000 home town's proposed central square, a typical residential street and part of the town's Great Park close to the north of the town towards Leicester.
The three show what urban, semi-urban and more rural areas would look like at the proposed site between Stoughton and Great Glen.
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These impressions have been put together using the Co-op Estates' 128-page dossier on the town as a blueprint, which was sent to Government to explain what it would be like to live there. The first image shows Pennbury's giant town square, which will have allotments, children's play areas, with bars, restaurants and homes.
At its heart would be a triangle of land, similar in size to Leicester's Victoria Park, which would have room for an orchard, markets and open-air concerts.
Ruairidh Jackson, head of planning and property strategy for the Co-op, said: "The idea with the town's square is that it should be like a miniature version of the Great Park, with allotments, orchards and play space.The buildings around the side show how we want to create something modern and different. These buildings are similar to architecture found in Paris or Barcelona.
"Running around it are our community buses, which would ferry residents into the town's centre."
The second image shows a typical street in the city, with family homes on one side, and with flats and restaurants on the other. It also shows a world with fewer cars as two homes would have one parking space between them, allowing cyclists and public transport more freedom.
Mr Jackson said: "This area is meant to have a similar feel to areas found around Russell Square, in London, with a slightly lower density mix of housing compared with the town centre. This image is designed to show what a typical street would look like."
The last image is of a tree nursery, to the north of Pennbury, close to a man-made lake with sporting facilities, sports pitches and larger semi-detached homes.
"This shows the mix of open spaces we are planning, and how the town would flow softly outwards to a lower density of houses." he said.
Chairman of anti-Pennbury group Cascet Councillor Kevin Feltham, said: "If the street scene is the likely scenario, then all the careful transport modelling that has taken place to date is worthless, and there will be massive congestion on surrounding roads such as the A6 and A47 with thousands of extra cars every day.
"If the Co-op is going to commission and use visualisations, it must portray the reality of its Masterplan Vision – massive blocks of tall apartment blocks will be evident."
Fellow county councillor for the area Simon Galton: "The Co-op are trying to create an urban landscape in a rural environment. It does not fit with its surroundings.
"I think these images are quite misleading. In the town centre the density of housing they have talked about would be up to six storeys high, where is this?"
Last month, a report by independent consultancy Halcrow said it had "serious reservations" about the proposals. Plans are out to public consultation until March 6, when the four local authorities will deliver their conclusions.
More than a third of the electorate in a village have voted against the eco-town plans. A total of 99 per cent of nearly 1,000 villagers from Great Glen rejected the Co-op's proposals in a referendum last night.
In a five-hour period yesterday afternoon, 971 people voted in the poll, organised by Great Glen Parish Council.
A total of 964 of those said no to the development, which is planned for land between Leicester and Great Glen.
Three people voted yes and there were four spoilt ballot papers.
County councillor Kevin Feltham, chairman of Campaign Against the Stoughton Co-op Eco Town (CASCET), said: "This poll is a real indicator of local opinion, and will, I am sure, be helpful to the Harborough District and Leicestershire county councillors when they decide on their response to the Co-op and Government consultations."