Strong progress in providing future jobs and homesPublished Thursday 4 March 2021
Much-needed housing, employment and infrastructure are continuing to be provided for people who need it in the Harborough district, according to a new report.
Harborough District Council has just published its Authority Monitoring Report 2019/20 which was approved by its Cabinet on 8 March 2021.
The Authority Monitoring Report monitors the delivery of the Local Plan including provision of new homes and employment land, to grow the economy, whilst protecting heritage and the character of the district.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Harborough Local Plan has continued to provide a framework for growth and delivery of infrastructure.
Cllr Phil King, Harborough District Council’s Leader said: “The adoption of the Local Plan in 2019 was a significant and welcome milestone. It continues to provide a robust framework giving us more control over development in the district, and helping deliver the jobs, infrastructure and homes – many of them affordable – needed for a growing population. This is supported by powers at a community level, with more neighbourhood plans also being adopted, giving residents a real say over development in their area.”
The report shows that more than 900 homes have been built by developers in the district over 2019/20, of which more than 205 were shared-ownership or affordable – ie. housing which can be rented or purchased at a lower rate than on the open market.
The report also highlights that the Council has exceeded the Government-required five-year housing supply, with a 7.74 year housing supply. Any council which does not have a five-year housing supply risks housing developments being imposed upon them in locations which may fall outside sites agreed in approved planning policy documents.
Nearly 60 hectares of additional employment land was also developed to help create employment opportunities at a challenging time for the economy and high levels of unemployment.
The Council is continuing to work with communities to bring neighbourhood plans to fruition to support grassroots planning powers. During 2019/20, the Neighbourhood Plan for Tur Langton was adopted, as well as the review of the Great Glen Neighbourhood Plan – the first neighbourhood plan review in the country. Fleckney and Husbands Bosworth were both scheduled to hold a referendum in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic this has been delayed to May 2021.
Cllr King added: “We understand development isn’t always popular, but growth is important for our local economy and to meet the needs of our residents. As the population expands, people need places to live, work, and for recreation; the Local Plan helps provide this. Plus, more people means more customers for local shops and services which supports growth in our economy.”
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