Ibstock accountancy firm set to be given green light to relocate to new Coleorton site - despite strong local opposition

By Graham Hill

1st Oct 2022 | Local News

Objectors say the Coleorton junction is an accident blackspot. Photo: Instantstreetview.com
Objectors say the Coleorton junction is an accident blackspot. Photo: Instantstreetview.com

An Ibstock accountancy firm is set to be granted planning permission for new offices in Coleorton - despite opposition in the village and having already been turned down by Coalville planners.

The company wants to stay in North West Leicestershire - where it has a link with Stephenson College - and is reluctant to look elsewhere.

It has already seen one application rejected for the site at the junction of Moor Lane and Loughborough Road.

That was on the grounds that it did not meet the 'small-scale office' requirement.

Now the applicant, Mr Jonathan Golby, has returned with a smaller plan and next Tuesday's North West Leicestershire planning committee meeting will tell councillors that the plans are now acceptable.

However, the council has had 19 objections from local residents who have raised a number of concerns - including fears that the proposed site is an accident blackspot.

• The site is outside the Limits to Development and the proposal would be contrary to the Local Plan policies;

• Loss of a greenfield site; - commercial development is out of keeping in this residential area;

• Commercial development is not necessary in this location;

• The proposal would not constitute a small scale employment generating development and the business plans to expand;

• The site is unsustainable and users would visit the site by car;

• There are many options for a company of this type and size, in far more suitable locations, easily accessible by robust public transport links;

• Coleorton is not a sustainable village and no longer has a shop or Post Office;

• Loss of open countryside;

• The application cannot be described as being located in the Coalville Growth Corridor, as it is not positioned along the A511;

• There is plenty of existing office space available within the local urban areas;

• More office space is not needed with more employees working from home.

On amenities, the following points were raised:

• Harm to the openness of the rural landscape;

• Harm to local amenity as Moor Lane connects people to a rural footpath network/woodland and is well used

- Extended glazing within the building to provide high levels of natural light would not be sympathetic to a rural setting with the associated light pollution.

• Highway Safety - Moor Lane is a single track road with no footpaths or passing places and it is not suitable for increased traffic or larger vehicles;

• The junction of the Moor and the A512 is an accident blackspot with fatalities occurring;

• The proposed improvements to visibility at the junction of Moor Lane and the Loughborough Road are irrelevant, as visitors and staff will turn right out of the site access and choose the traffic free short cut along Moor Lane to The Moorlands, rather than using the busy A512

• Increased commercial traffic along Moor Lane will increase the risk of accidents;

• increased use of the A512 where accidents have occurred in the past;

• Local bus services have been reduced in recent years and therefore the employees are likely to travel to the site by car;

• Conflict between the additional vehicles and pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders using Moor Lane;

• In the absence of cycle parking or shower facilities within the building, cycling to work would not be an option.

On Heritage Assets, the following concerns have been raised:

• The site is one of historical/archaeological interest and should be subject to archaeological assessment;

• Impact on views of Hough Mill.

• The junction improvements works will affect the viability of mature protected trees by altering their access to rainfall through the addition of impervious road surface material; - loss of habitat

• Undesirable precedent for other commercial activities to access the lane in the future;

• The site is within Coleorton, not Swannington and should be publicised accordingly;

• Nothing has changed of any consequence since the previous application;

• The benefits of the proposal are far outweighed by the conflict with policy and damage to local amenities and the greenfield site and the application should be refused;

• Despite the building and highway changes proposed, the previous reason for refusal for the previous application has not been satisfactorily addressed.

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