Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is spearheading a petition which calls on Harborough District council not to sign up to accept a large amount of overspill housing from the City of Leicester.
On 18 September Harborough’s local councillors will vote on whether or not sign up to the so called “statement of common ground”.
Accepting the proposal would mean that instead of meeting the housing need of Leicester city by building homes within the city, surrounding areas like Harborough District would build homes on behalf of Leicester.
“The proposal our councillors will vote on would mean the target number of houses to be built here in Harborough would be increased by a quarter, above our own housing need, and this new target would be in force between now and 2036.
Lib-Dem led Harborough council is currently planning to vote for this proposal on the on 18 September. But if enough local residents show they are concerned about this by signing the petition, I think we can get the council to stop and have a rethink.
I believe this proposal is unfair. Harborough is already one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and has delivered homes much faster than the national average. Accepting Leicester’s overspill housing in addition would mean going even faster, outpacing the ability of local infrastructure to cope.
Leicester accounts for more than a third of the population of the county (34.1%) but is only planning to take just over a fifth of the new houses (22.6%), instead making surrounding districts like Harborough take on its housing need. The city is not taking its fair share.
Instead of sprawling outwards, Leicester should meet its own housing need through regeneration of the many brownfield and underused sites in the city. This would be better for the environment, and would mean less growth in commuting, fewer traffic jams, and less pollution.
It is fairer for the city to meet its own housing needs locally, rather than dump it onto surrounding districts. There is no legal requirement for Harborough District to agree to this increase.
Leaflets allowing residents to sign up to the petition are being delivered to local homes, but people can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 24 Nelson Street, Market Harborough.”