'Strong opposition' from councillor over how new housing development will affect a Hugglescote street
By Graham Hill
24th Nov 2022 | Local News
A Coalville councillor has raised concerns over the effect a 400-home housing estate will have on a Hugglescote street.
Next week's meeting of North West Leicestershire District Council's planning committee is set to rubber stamp the scheme north of Standard Hill and east of Highfield Street - but with 150 houses to be accessed from Highfield Street.
The plan includes an amendment to the Highfield Street section - and without complying to certain conditions agreed when outline planning permission was given.
But councillor John Geary says that outline permission was originally granted in 2012 and varied in 2016, both restricting access from Highfield Street to 100 units.
He added that, in February this year reserved matters permission was granted with the restriction of 97 units.
The council's recommendation to councillors is to permit the plans that will be put before them.
But Cllr Geary, the ward member for the area, says: "I am strongly opposed to the increase in the number of units that will be served from Highfield Street - and have serious concerns on Highway Safety grounds and the impact this will have on the quality of life of all residents on not only Highfield Street but all the surrounding streets that this extra traffic will generate.
"Permission was originally granted on the information that has been submitted, if the applicant had failed to make sure all their information was complete when they submitted their application then the decision to permit should be cancelled and the process should start again.
"It is outlined in the applicant's report that technical work has demonstrated that the proposed vehicular link cannot be delivered due to topographical constraints.
"Yet on the reserved matters application plans clearly showed a bus route running through the site across the brook from Standard Hill to Highfield Street.
"It would appear that the decision on the reserved matters application was made without knowing all the facts given the omission of the technical information.
"The applicant's report also informs us that the omission of the vehicle link will generate 'significant planning benefits' which will result in a higher quality of development but at what cost to local residents that live on and use Highfield Street?
"Whilst the applicant tries to justify that the cost involved in facilitating the 'link' would be disproportionate to the construction of 53 units, they should not be excused from forming a vehicle route to serve the 53 units as they should have priced such works in and therefore would be able to afford such works with the brook originally being bridged so as to provide a bus route.
"Alternatively the 53 units should not be constructed.
"The applicant's report outlines that residents of Highfield Street who back onto the development will be provided with the opportunity to access rear parking to their properties.
"This statement is misleading due to 14 homes not being able to gain access to their own land from the proposed road."
Local residents have also objected saying Highfield Street cannot cope with the amount of 'through traffic' at present with traffic conditions considerably worse than in 2012 - and that the developer wants to increase the number of dwellings served from Highfield Street by 50 per cent.
They also say that Highfield Street is an unfit route and would be unsafe for existing and new residents with the access being on a 'blind bend and that the estimate of cars exiting and entering the area is unrealistic as Coalville has no rail service and the nearest bus stops are a 20 minute walk away.