Fate of estates goes to appeals
Developers are trying to overturn a number of decisions preventing them from building hundreds of homes in open countryside.
A series of appeals has been launched by builders against Charnwood Borough Council's refusals to allow them permission to construct homes on the edge of Loughborough and several nearby villages.
Pubic inquiries are now to be held into proposals by Jelson Homes to build 300 homes on farm land off Melton Road, Barrow, and 200 homes next to Halstead Road, Mountsorrel.
The council rejected the schemes after hundreds of resident opposed them.
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Bloor Homes is also hoping a planning inspector will reverse the authority's decision to refuse its scheme for 75 homes next to Iveshead Road, Shepshed.
Charles Church homes wants permission to build 50 homes in Bramcote Road, on the southern edge of Loughborough.
Councillors refused the projects for reasons ranging from highways problems generated by potential traffic to impact on the countryside. Hearings will take place in the next few months.
The council's head of planning, Steve Lewis-Roberts, said: "We have a number of appeals coming up in the next few weeks.
"The developers essentially disagree with the reasons we refused permission so the issues will be tested by a planning inspector.
"There have been several announcements from the Government designed to boost the construction industry and they will point out the borough does not have the five-year supply of land for housing it needs by law.
"However, residents have made their opposition to the developments very clear.
"The council will defend the decisions it has made vigorously."
Joyce Noon, for the Charnwood branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, said: "It's no great surprise that developers won't take no for an answer.
"Huge areas of countryside are at risk of being developed.
"The council generally does listen to residents when it decides these matters but is fairly powerless when the matter goes to appeal."
As part of the Government's core housing strategy, Charnwood Borough Council must find sites for 17,380 homes across the borough – and make sure they are built – before 2028.
It has already given permission to more than 7,000 houses, and officers have recommended further sites which will account for another 6,250.
The public inquiries into the developments will be open to the public and people can speak if they inform the council in advance.
For more times, dates and venues for the various hearings, contact the council on 01509 263151.