Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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CPRE submits views to County Council Scrutiny Commission

CPRE Leicestershire called for an urgent re-examination of the revised Strategic Growth Plan.

In our view, this revised version of the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) is fundamentally flawed.

So instead of endorsing the plan and signing it off, we argued that County Councillors should request an urgent re-examination of its assumptions and proposals.

In our submission, we set out five grounds for having this review.

First, the level of housing need is exaggerated. 
In our initial submission, we argued for this review because, in the light of the new 2016 Household Projections from the Office of National Statistics, the SGP housing requirements were exaggerated.
Subsequently following the Government’s rejection of this up to date independent demographic evidence, we submitted an addendum to our evidence. In this, we argued that the Council should not be pushing ahead with figures around which there is uncertainty.

In our view, the prudent approach at this stage would be for the Council not to agree the SGP and for it to take stock of the position in a measured way.


Second, the exaggerations are amplified by extending the time period beyond 2031.
The SGP chooses to extend the housing numbers to 2050. With the new household projections, it appears the housing figures up to 2031 are too high. Simply to extend them to 2050 simply compounds an error and over-estimates the need for housing.


Third, the need for large scale warehousing has been exaggerated due to double counting.
The requirement in the SGP for 472 hectares of new large scale warehousing in Leicestershire appears to be excessive. 

It is based on a high estimate of the level of provision required, double-counting of existing commitments, and a failure to account for applications to the National Infrastructure Commission and for other competing sites across the Midlands which serve the same need.


Fourth, proposals for the A46, and other new road building, are being developed without detailed evidence that is open to scrutiny and without considering the implications on local roads.
Strong concern was expressed about the heavy reliance in the SGP on new strategic road building, particularly the proposed A46 Expressway around Leicester.

There was a lack of clarity about the role and function of A46 Expressway. In addition there was a failure to provide robust assessments of its impact on local roads and traffic, existing travel patterns, car usage as well as on climate change.

Given these concerns, we argued that the plan should not be agreed until there has been a thorough and objective assessment of the A46 Expressway and other road building proposals.


Fifth, there are unacceptable impacts on the environment and landscape.
The Plan should not go ahead until there has been a detailed examination of the impacts on the environment, landscape and climate change and of alternatives to the proposals as they currently stand.


Do you agree with us?
If you agree with us:
* Write to your local councillor urging them not to endorse the plan. 
* Join CPRE, if you are not already a member, or if you are one already, why not volunteer to help with this campaign.

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