Ten organisations have partnered together to deliver their Leicester vision of growth for the city and Leicestershire over the next thirty-two years – a massive time scale and your views are requested for the consultation of the draft plan by 5th April 2018.
The draft plan will focus on four main aspects;
- Delivering new housing,
- Supporting the economy,
- Identifying essential infrastructure, and;
- Protecting our environment and heritage.
It’s a long-term, high-level, high-growth plan that is being prepared by ten partner organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire which details how the organisations have prepared the plan and will set out broad locations where the developments might take place. The plan also highlights the infrastructure that will be needed to reach the objectives set out in the plan.
The ten partnering organisation are;
- The Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership
- Leicester City Council
- Leicester County Council
- Charnwood Borough Council
- Harborough District Council
- Hinkley & Bosworth Borough Council
- Blaby District Council
- Melton Borough Council
- North West Leicestershire District Council, and;
- Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.
The plan will be non-statutory, meaning they’ll only use it loosely as a guide; with the large time-frame of over thirty years, we can appreciate how things may change between today and the year 2050 but they will use it as a basis for preparing and reviewing individual plans, including local plans and plans for transport, infrastructure and economic plans.
The Draft Plan recognises that Leicester and Leicestershire will continue to grow and that our population is increasing; we need more homes, better infrastructure, more jobs and educational facilities. Leicester and Leicestershire are a world stage for business and research and there is a national and regional imperative to provide more homes and jobs.
The plan also realises that too much growth and insensitive developments in particular locations is and will have adverse effects on local communities and on our environment and that the lack of essential infrastructure is preventing areas from realising their true potential as areas with inefficient infrastructure typically tend to be underdeveloped, underfunded and experience low-growth. The draft plan aims to balance the competing interests of local communities and our economy at large.
The Draft Plan highlights primary and secondary growth areas where most developments would take place and key centres where growth would support existing Local Plan strategies, elsewhere it is expected growth will be more limited. To date, the majority of new housing has been built on small to medium-sized sites within Leicester and on the outskirts of Leicestershire.
The work is co-ordinated by the partnering organisation’s Joint Strategic Planning Manager, Pat Willoughby, who states;
Our ambition is two-fold; to overcome the problems that are experienced by existing communities and to accommodate growth in high-quality developments – in the right place, at the right time and with the essential infrastructure that is needed.
Leicester plays a pivotal role in the draft plan; the intention is to develop Leicester‘s role as a national and regional city, supporting the market towns and rural areas around Leicester with more jobs, leisure, arts and culture and entertainment.
Accessibility to Melton Mowbray will be increased due to the new A46 Expressway (see below) and other local improvements facilitated by strategic growth within the proposed Melton Mowbray Distributor Road. The potential for further new homes and jobs, supporting the regeneration of the town centre, and new infrastructure to reduce congestion has already been highlighted within the plans.
Lutterworth locations close to the M1 and A5 have become a focus for the logistics and distribution industries. New developments to the East of the M1, together with new infrastructure, will relieve congestion in the town and is already planned. Further growth should enable better services and new homes will allow employees to live closer to places of work whilst opening up new roles of employment to cope with the increased population size in the small market town.
Coalville, Hinckley, Loughborough and Market Harborough
Substantial provision of new homes and jobs has already been made for Coalville, Hinckley, Loughborough and Market Harborough though these market towns have still been under immense pressure for development. Much is still to be built, dependant on new local infrastructure and further development should be consistent with the need to support local growth.
Villages and Rural Areas
Source: GB Maps
It has been highlighted that villages and rural areas of Leicester and the county have been severely underdeveloped and due to the limited growth and relative ability to meet local needs, these areas will require careful consideration throughout Local Plans.
The Northern Gateway
The Northern Gateway focuses on the Northern parts of the A42 and the M1 and provides scope for 10’000 new homes in Loughborough and around the northern edges of the County with several existing and committed employment centres.
The Southern Gateway
The Southern Gateway is focused around the A5 and proposes a new link between the M69 and the M1 (part o the A46 Corridor, see below). These Expressway proposals for the A5 and the new section of the A46 will create opportunities for development within the areas located relative to employment opportunities.
The A46 Corridor
The A46 Corridor is a new road extending from the M69 around the South and East of Leicester with a new junction on the M1. The road will re-join the A46 near Syston and together, with the Southern Gateway, there’ll be potential to accommodate 40’000 new homes and additional jobs. Local plans shall identify specific development locations within the corridor itself.
You can find out more information by visiting the Leicester & Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan website.
The key centres are Melton Mowbray and Lutterworth whilst Market Harborough, Hinckley, Coalville and Loughborough will experience managed growth as per local plans.
The final version of the plan will provide strategic direction and help shape the Local Plans that the city, borough and district councils are or will be preparing or reviewing. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council is currently consulting on its local plan.
It will also be used to support bids for government funding to deliver the infrastructure needed to support growth.
Overall, the plan estimates that Leicester and Leicestershire need 96,580 new homes and 367-423 hectares of employment land from 2011 to 2031. Some of these homes have already been built or have planning permission. In Hinckley and Bosworth the plan estimates that 9,315 new homes are needed. This figure has been adjusted to include homes that have been built in the borough since 2011 and sites with planning permission already in place
Beyond 2031, the plan identifies the need for a further 90,500 dwellings and additional employment land across Leicester and Leicestershire, which is why further land needs to be unlocked. Local plans will deal with the detailed allocation of sites that will be brought forward.
For more information and to take part in the consultation, please visit the Leicester & Leicestershire Strategic Growth plan website.