Council defers decision on signing to accept share of Leicester’s ‘unmet housing need’ and issues challenge to local MPs

Published Tuesday 19 September 2023

Harborough District Council has deferred a decision on the signing of an agreement to take on a share of new homes that Leicester City Council is unable to provide within its own boundaries.

This is on the back of a direct challenge from the Council Leader, Cllr Phil Knowles to the three local MPs.

At a meeting of Full Council on 18 September 2023, a motion proposed by council leader, Cllr Phil Knowles, to defer a decision on whether to become a signatory to the Leicester and Leicestershire Statement of Common Ground relating to housing and employment needs, was carried by councillors.

The decision will now be deferred to the Full Council meeting on 6 November 2023.

Cllr Phil Knowles, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “Cabinet has stressed in the run up to consideration of this Council decision that we will consider all information very carefully, including discussions with key parties, and ensure that all councillors have the information they need to make an informed decision.

“Our three local MPs have shared their views against signing this agreement in the public domain. I invite them to a meeting before the next Full Council meeting, that will be open to members of the public as observers with me as council leader, and Cllr Simon Galton, Cabinet lead for planning, to clarify and evidence the information that they have shared publicly on this issue and to question the advice that the council has been given.

“It is important that we don’t delay this vital decision for too long as to do so would delay the development of a new local plan which would put the district at risk of speculative development which could harm our rural district.”

Seven of the nine local authorities in Leicestershire have already agreed the Statement of Common Ground.

Details of the report of Full Council on 18 September can be found at: