Decision made on controversial 100 homes for former ice cream factory site

Street view of Jacks Ices on Standard Hill in Hugglescote
The former Jacks Ices factory would be flattened as part of the scheme -Credit:Google

Moves to greenlight controversial plans for 100 affordable homes on a former ice cream factory have been delayed amid “sustainability credential” fears. Officials had been recommended to approve the homes near Coalville, but other issues were also raised.

The EMH Group plan intends to create 100 affordable homes on the site of the former Jacks Ices factory in Hugglescote’s Standard Hill. The plan would encompass a mixture of “high quality” two-storey homes and bungalows which would back onto the Snibston Grange nature reserve.

The plan was controversial with many, with some labelling proposed access to the site as “dangerous”. Despite that, officials on North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) Planning Committee had been urged to approve plans this week after reports had deemed it “acceptable”.

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However, in a late twist, Councillor Russell Boam, chair of the Planning Committee, said a decision had to be delayed following new concerns after a technical briefing on the scheme. He said: “There were a number of questions raised at the technical briefing last week in relation to sustainability credentials of the site [as well as] planning policy and highways safety matters.”

The new concerns follow much worry in Hugglescote, with residents and councillors calling into question the location of the homes, saying the brow of Standard Hill was not safe. Others believed the homes would "exacerbate the likelihood” of future accidents in the area despite highways officials saying there was “no evidence” to back up these claims.

Now, new fears about the scheme have been raised, but not made public. Coun Boam said “initial answers” to councillors’ questions had only been received as officials were set to decide the plan. This, he said, meant there had been no opportunity to further scrutinise the proposals and therefore a decision could not be made.

He said: “I formally move that the application is deferred to enable the requested information and questions to be fully considered and answered before reporting back to the next Planning Committee meeting.”

Officials backed the deferral. The homes are expected back before NWLDC's Planning Committee on Tuesday, June 4.