Controversial affordable home scheme for former ice cream factory set for approval

Standard Hill homes Hugglescote Coalville EMH Pegasus Group Leicestershire County Council Highways Department North West Leicestershire District Council
-Credit: (Image: Keary Design Associates)

Controversial plans for 100 affordable homes near Coalville are set to be approved. A decision on the former ice cream factory site suffered a last-minute delay after concerns were raised by officials.

The proposal, from EMH Group, looks to build 100 affordable homes on the site of the former Jacks Ices factory in Hugglescote’s Standard Hill, near Coalville. It is plan mired in concern and controversy with residents labelling the proposal “dangerous” after it emerged access would be from the brow of Standard Hill. Other safety concerns were raised, with some councillors fearing speeding drivers in the area.

Last month, officials on North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) looked to dismiss the worries and greenlit EMH Group’s plan, but “sustainability credential” fears and traffic safety concerns saw that decision deferred at the last minute. Among these were worries about increased traffic relating to nearby Hugglescote Primary School’s approved expansion.

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Now, in new documents ahead of their decision, NWLDC has confirmed that further discussions with the County Highways Authority has seen them put forward moves to approve the scheme. In their report, they said traffic concerns from the primary school’s expansion had been “mitigated” during their approval process and did not impact on Standard Hill.

Potential plans to decrease the speed limit along the entirety of Standard Hill to 30mph from its current 40mph in certain sections were also dismissed. The NWLDC report said highways officials found this proposal to ease concerns from the public was unlikely to gain backing from drivers who would fail to “see any justification” for the move. They also called the potential decrease “not appropriate” for Standard Hill.

The council’s report also backs up previous findings which had shown no objections to the site’s proposed access and its potential impacts on traffic. Potential flooding concerns about the land were also dismissed after no objections were raised by the Lead Local Flood Authority.

Subject to Section 106 conditions, NWLDC says the scheme should be approved. A final decision will be made next Tuesday (June 4).

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