New homes plans for Leicester bypass planning process
An application to develop 220 new homes in Leicester has become the first in the UK to go directly to the planning inspectorate, completely missing out the local authority in the process.
Gladman Developments has submitted the application to build the new homes on a site in Hospital Lane, Blaby,directly to central government - bypassing the conventional local planning process - after Blaby District Council's planning department were found to not handle planning applications quickly enough.
"This is a very unusual set of circumstances as this is the first developer to bypass us and take the application directly to the inspectorate," said James Carpenter, development services manager at the district council.
He added: "We've had more than 40 other major applications from developers since designation, including from David Wilson's and Taylor Wimpey, who all still prefer to go through us."
Gladman appear to believe that they have better chance of securing planning consent to develop the new homes on the vacant site through a remote planning inspector than through a local process, particularly as the proposed scheme has received a number of objections from local residents.
Despite the desperate need for more new homes, about 2,700 people, including South Leicestershire MP Andrew Robathan, have signed a petition to oppose the residential scheme.
Mr Robathan has even written to the leader of the local county council, Nick Rushton, and Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
"I've written to them to make the point that you can have a development which doesn't impinge on Bouskell Park," he said. "I am completely behind the residents on this matter, but I'm also aware of the need for new homes."