Decisions on Local Plan to be debated next week after Full Council meeting was adjourned

Published Tuesday 12 December 2023

Decisions by councillors on the new Local Plan for the Harborough District will be discussed next week after a Full Council meeting was adjourned last night.

At a Full Council meeting (on Monday 11 December 2023), the Leader of Harborough District Council, Cllr Phil Knowles, proposed a motion that four reports relating to the new Local Plan, including one on the district helping to meet some of Leicester’s unmet housing need, be moved to an adjourned Full Council on 18 December 2023.

The motion to move these reports to an adjourned meeting followed a letter from MP Neil O’Brien to Cllr Knowles to request a delay due to changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that are understood to be due to be announced on Tuesday 12 December 2023. The motion was carried.

Due to the imminent release of the National Planning Policy Framework update, and because the reports relating to the local plan and supporting Leicester’s unmet housing need were not going to be debated last night due to the adjournment, Cabinet was advised that it would be appropriate to wait for the new guidance to be released so that the answers provided would contain the most up to date information. Answering questions before reports are debated may also constitute predetermination of a decision. 

Members of the public who submitted questions will receive written responses to their questions after the items have been debated. They will then have the opportunity to send in any supplementary questions and will receive a further written response to these.

Cllr Knowles said: “I’m delighted to support the proposal from one of our local MPs to postpone discussions on these reports in view of the new planning policy framework that the government is expected to share imminently. As I have said all along, no decisions have been made and it is important that all new information is considered and shared with councillors so that they may make informed decisions.

“It was frustrating that Cabinet were not able to answer questions on the local plan from members of the public, but the timing of the government’s new planning framework announcement that we expect, plus the meeting adjournment, meant that this was not advised. Everyone who asked a question will receive a full written response and have the chance to ask a supplementary question.” 

The reports that have been adjourned are:

Item 12 Harborough Local Plan - Leicester and Leicestershire Statement of Common Ground, relating to housing and employment land needs

Item 13 Local Plan - The Issues and Options consultation

Item 14 Local Development Scheme Update

Item 15 The new Local Plan Resources.

These reports will now be considered at a continuation of the Full Council meeting at 6.30pm on Monday 18 December 2023.

The meeting can be watched online by visiting and clicking on the date of the meeting on the calendar. This link will be live on the evening.