Step up to help shape future of town

Published Friday 8 October 2021

People are being given a unique opportunity to democratically shape future development and community aspirations in Market Harborough.

Harborough District Council is inviting residents, who live or work in Market Harborough, to join others in developing a Neighbourhood Plan to help shape their neighbourhoods and guide future development in the town.


In 2014, Harborough district made history when Broughton Astley villagers voted to adopt the first neighbourhood plan in the East Midlands. The district now has 25 adopted – or ‘made’ – neighbourhood plans.

Neighbourhood planning is a way for communities to help decide the future of the places where they live and work. Communities can use a Neighbourhood Plan to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. A Neighbourhood Plan may also contain other community aspirations for non-planning or land use matters.

In an area that does not have a town or parish council, such as Market Harborough, a neighbourhood forum must be established to produce a neighbourhood plan. The neighbourhood forum, once established, is the legal qualifying body for the production of the plan.

The production of the Plan then follows a statutory process of designation, public consultation, independent examination, and referendum where residents vote on whether, or not, to adopt the neighbourhood plan.

Cllr Phil King, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “As a Council, we have led the way on neighbourhood planning which gives real grassroots power to local communities to decide how their neighbourhood evolves. We know planning and development can be an emotive issue, but this is a direct opportunity for people in Market Harborough to contribute to this important process and produce something that genuinely represents the range of wants and needs in the town.”

People who would like to be involved should email by 30 November 2021. They must be over 18 years old and live or work in Market Harborough.