Council defers decision to accept Leicester’s ‘unmet housing need’ for second time

Published Tuesday 7 November 2023

“Council is right to defer decision to accept share of Leicester’s ‘unmet housing need’ for second time as a decision must be based on evidence” says council leader.

Harborough District Council has again 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.

At a meeting of Full Council, the 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 unanimously carried by councillors, with the opposition shadow portfolio holder seconding the proposal.

When proposing the motion, Cllr Phil Knowles explained that the authority had obtained high level comments from King’s Counsel (KC) who had served their opinion to the authority late that day. 

Cllr Knowles said: “On Friday evening we were given a copy by the members of Parliament of a Ministerial letter at the public meeting. Today (Monday) was the first time our officers, consultants and King’s Counsel had the opportunity to study it. The KC and consultants returned their comments late this afternoon. I asked that all of this information be made available to councillors and that copies be forwarded to the three local Members of Parliament.” 

Following the motion being agreed, Cllr Knowles said: “The deferment will allow councillors adequate time to look at this additional information which will also be available to the public to see for themselves. This information will also be made available on the council’s website from Wednesday 7 November so that the community can read it, and I invite residents to contact me or their ward councillor with any questions they have.

“The next Full Council meeting will be for debate and decision. We must make a decision that will ultimately protect the local plan as to do otherwise could put the district at risk of speculative development in our rural district.”

The decision will now be deferred to the Full Council meeting on 11 December 2023.

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

The report of Full Council on 6 November can be found at: