Town’s first neighbourhood forum established in Little Bowden

Published Friday 10 March 2023

A group of volunteers in Little Bowden has been formally designated a neighbourhood forum.

It is the first of five wards across Market Harborough to have a forum established by the Harborough Town Hub, a non-party political volunteer group, with support from Harborough District Council.

Neighbourhood planning in Market Harborough supports the council’s vision as it promotes community leadership to create a sense of pride in the area, helps to shape a sustainable environment to protect future generations and supports businesses and residents to deliver a prosperous local economy.

Residents will have more of a say in planning and land use in their community as well as tackling issues such as flooding, traffic and the care of green spaces. 

Little Bowden forum members will next develop a ‘neighbourhood priorities statement’ with a longer-term view of writing a neighbourhood plan.

Beverley Brown, chair of Little Bowden neighbourhood forum, is keen to obtain residents’ views in the area which stretches from the leisure centre roundabout out at The Point, up to the development at the top of Kettering Road.

She said: “Over the coming months, working groups will be presenting ideas at public events to obtain feedback from the community about what they value and what they would like to improve about Little Bowden. Ultimately a resulting neighbourhood plan will go to a public referendum.”

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Planning, said: “It is vitally important people have input into the places where they live so I am pleased a neighbourhood forum has been set up in Little Bowden. The formation of this forum will help strengthen the community.”

Chris Durham, chair of Harborough Town Hub, said that other meetings are planned this month to establish forums in Arden, Town Centre, Logan and Welland, which he hopes will be equally well supported. A minimum of 21 members are required in each area to form a neighbourhood forum.

Market Harborough residents are not represented by a town council in the same way some towns and villages are in the district. Neighbourhood planning was started under the Localism Act of 2011 and since then 29 neighbourhood plans have been adopted by parish councils across Harborough district. These forums, however, are part of a wider government pilot scheme encouraging communities to develop neighbourhood plans in a simpler way. 

If you live or work in Market Harborough and would like to know more about the neighbourhood forums being set up, please contact Simon Hobbs at

More information about neighbourhood planning can be found at