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Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

Robust response to Strategic Growth Plan consultation

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:00

High Leicestershire - Looking towards Hungarton village High Leicestershire - Looking towards Hungarton village

CPRE Leicestershire have submitted a robust and detailed critique of the Plan in its response this consultation which closed on 10th May.

 Our response set out a number of concerns.

 Road Building and the A46 Expressway:

CPRE strongly criticises the emphasis on large scale road building, particularly the proposed A46 Expressway, east and south of the City.  CPRE believes that plans for the expressway are flawed. There is evidence to suggest that far from relieving congestion, traffic generated by the proposed new housing developments adjoining the expressway is likely to overload it and create new congestion problems.  

There are no details regarding junctions along the expressway and there are issues regarding the accommodation of traffic decanted from the expressway onto local roads which could become inadequate ‘short cuts’ into the city.

Finally, CPRE are concerned that proposed expressway and associated housing developments will have a significant adverse environmental impact on air, noise and light pollution and on unspoilt areas of Leicestershire countryside, particularly regarding landscape character, agriculture, heritage assets and biodiversity.

The Leicestershire countryside:

The Plan has little to say about the Leicestershire countryside, its landscape, heritage and biodiversity and it seriously understates their importance tending to view them as constraints to development rather than as valuable assets.

CPRE is particularly concerned about the impact on the countryside to the east and south of the city where the SGP proposes to build 40,000 new houses between 2031 and 2050.   

Tony Stott, chair of the CPRE Leicestershire SGP task group, says: “Without some clear principles in the SGP we fear that the proposed development will end up as environmentally destructive, car dependent, low density green field sprawl with large dormitory suburbs and with a lack of sustainable transport infrastructure.”

Meeting Housing need:

CPRE suggest that the SGP is a developer-driven plan pre-occupied with the ‘soft option’ of building new ‘garden’ towns and villages on greenfield sites.

The Plan focusses on housing numbers rather than housing need and fails to address the chronic shortage of affordable modest homes for first time buyers and older people who wish to downsize, and of single storey homes for the elderly and disabled.

The Plan is silent regarding the shortcomings of market arrangements to satisfy need and to date the result has been developments of 3/4/5 executive homes in rural settlements way beyond the reach of local residents who wish remain and thus reducing many settlements to dormitory settlements.

Climate change:

The plan is silent on the issue of Climate Change.  CPRE would have expected a plan for 2050 to be future proofed with measures to reduce carbon emissions.  There is not even a public transport strategy! 

Lack of Scrutiny and challenge: 

Despite the current consultation, the SGP will not be subject to external scrutiny and challenge. CPRE Leicestershire is calling for the plan to be subject to an Examination in Public (EIP) before an independent Inspector.

 

Timescale:

CPRE consider that the Plan proposes a very narrow vision for the future of Leicester & Leicestershire after 2031 until 2050 and firmly believe that the Plan is neither visionary, nor based on sound data.

Richard Windley, Chair of CPRE Leicestershire, comments “2050 is 32 years away. The Plan assumes that current trends and development needs will continue. Rather it is uses today’s thinking to solve tomorrow’s problems.”  

 

 

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