Hundreds sign petition in protest over homes plan off Nottingham Road, in Ashby
Campaigners have launched a petition opposing plans to build more than 600 homes in a town.
Developers want to build on a swathe of farmland at Money Hill, off Nottingham Road, in Ashby.
But more than 700 people have signed a petition organised by the newly-formed Nottingham Road and Wood Street Action Group (NoRAG).
Initial plans for a first phase of 130 homes were submitted to North West Leicestershire District Council last month by a consortium of developers, including Colonnade, Taylor Woodrow and Bloor Homes.
Opponents are concerned about the scale of the project and increased traffic along Nottingham Road and Woodcock Way, where vehicles would turn in to the estate.
Nottingham Road resident Mike Ball, 57, who helped set up NoRAG, described the scheme as "crazy".
"The scheme is too big and will swamp the town," he said.
"We are particularly concerned about increased traffic along Nottingham Road and it being channelled through Woodcock Way, which at present is nothing more than a cul-de-sac.
"Nottingham Road is already congested with traffic and we have serious doubts about the safety of the proposed access to the initial development through Woodcock Way.
"It is on a blind bend and opposite a large secondary school.
"They also plan to build a medical centre in phase one which will only bring even more traffic."
Alan Mason, 66, who lives in Woodcock Way, said: "The junction with Nottingham Road is just two tight for any significant volume of traffic.
"They would need to take land away from numbers 1 and 2 on either side just to get in.
"Expecting elderly and infirm people to walk 400 metres up a hill from Ashby town centre to get to the medical centre is unrealistic – it's not going to happen.
"I know some houses have to be built but I believe there are better locations in the town."
Ashby Town Council is backing residents' concerns after councillors voted unanimously to oppose the 130-home application.
Council leader John Coxon said: "We feel the location of these 130 homes and access is inappropriate. Traffic already backs up along Nottingham Road to the bypass at peak times and this will only make things worse.
"The design of the proposed traffic island at Woodcock Way is also unacceptable.
"It will result in the town becoming clogged up with cars and make life impossible for people living in that area."
Money Hill Consortium spokesman Matthew Inman said: "We are fully aware of these concerns so are reducing the number of new homes that will eventually use Nottingham Road.
"We have already agreed to bring forward a new road from the bypass for construction traffic."
He said improvements had been made to the design of the proposed junction and that a pedestrian crossing and average speed cameras were being considered to improve safety in Nottingham Road.
A planning application for the bulk of the scheme is expected in the spring.
It will include a primary school, a care home and 475 homes, serviced by an access road off the bypass.
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