Harborough adopts core strategy

Harborough District Council has adopted its key core strategy planning document after it was declared sound by a planning inspector.

The approval is the sixth core strategy to be approved since May, when government figures showed that 30 per cent of local authorities have a local plan in place.

Just over half of England's councils are likely to have adopted a core strategy by April 2012, when the government's changes to the planning system are due to come into effect, according to recent research.

Harborough's document maps out the amount and type of housing and development in the rural Leicestershire district up to 2028.

Inspector Kevin Ward approved the strategy subject to a few changes including extending the plan period to 2028 to ensure it covers at least 15 years from adoption.

He also asked the council to clarify the strategy for the distribution of housing over the whole plan period and make clear that this provision of 7,700 additional homes is regarded as a minimum.

Ward also called for a clearer definition of the Leicester Principal Urban Area of which the built up parts of the settlements of Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby are a part.

The council has also had to clarify its approach to limits to development, green wedges, areas of separation to stop the merging of settlements and brownfield land.

The inspector told the council to give greater emphasis to enhancing services and facilities in Broughton Astley to reflect its status as a key centre and clarify the distinction between rural centres and other villages in meeting development needs.

The council said the strategy’s approval was testament to its hard work and that of the public, whose feedback has helped shape the document. 

Janette Ackerley, who holds the council's planning portfolio, said: "We want to work with communities now to identify site allocations as soon as possible to reflect the principles of the core strategy and ensure that the future of the district is in the hands of local people rather than at the mercy of individual applicants and planning inspectors when decisions are appealed."

The core strategy can be viewed here.

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