Eric Pickles gives Lubbesthorpe 4,250-homes plan the go-ahead
Plans for a 4,250-home development have been given the go-ahead by the Government.
The planning application for houses, schools, shops and business areas in Lubbesthorpe was approved by Blaby District Council four months ago but, because of its scale, also had to be considered by the secretary of state, Eric Pickles.
The Government has the power to "call in" any application that could have a major effect outside the local area.
Yesterday, Mr Pickles approved the plans for an area of farmland between Leicester Forest East and Enderby, leaving campaigners against the development fed up.
Paul Fox, secretary of the protest group Leicester Forest East Residents' Action Group, said: "I'm obviously bitterly disappointed by the Government's decision not to call the decision in because it will affect people outside the area and is going to have a major impact on the road network.
"I'm not surprised because this is the decision we all expected, but now we have very limited options for preventing it."
Another leading protester, Val Brooks, said: "I didn't think the Government was going to stop it. Now we just have to think about the impact it's going to have and ensure it all happens in the best possible way for local people."
In a statement yesterday, Blaby District Council, said: "The secretary of state has allowed the council to grant planning permission, subject to a number of conditions and completion of a legal agreement to secure items such as new schools, road improvements and other necessary infrastructure."
The council will be officially giving the developers planning permission imminently.
After that, each of the developers – Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes, Davidsons Developments and Hallam Land Management – will have to make individual planning applications for sections of the development.
However, those applications are only likely to be modified rather than rejected by the council, since "outline" planning permission for the entire development has now been granted.
Mr Fox said the objectors would continue to monitor what was happening on the site.
He said: "As this is only outline planning permission, there will be more specific planning applications coming that we shall monitor closely."
He said it was also likely the objectors would seek an order from the European Court of Human Rights to limit the number of new houses in the area due to the high levels of nitrogen dioxide along the M1 corridor.
He said: "Our local councillors and our Government haven't listened to us, but maybe they will listen in Europe."
More than 1,300 people objected to the 973-acre development during two years of consultation.
There were concerns raising to traffic congestion and the loss of green land to flooding.
Blaby District Council is under pressure to build its target of 8,500 houses by 2029 and Lubbesthorpe will help it reach almost half that target.
The Mercury was unable to reach the consortium of developers for a comment yesterday, but after the plans were approved by Blaby District Council, Paul Burton, of New Lubbesthorpe development consortium, said: "This decision will allow homes which are urgently required in Blaby, as well as a package of improvements."
See the New Lubbesthorpe planning application details on the Blaby District Council website