Leicestershire village homes approved despite flooding concerns

A satellite image of a field surrounded by trees on two sides, and houses and a country lane on the others.
-Credit: (Image: Google)

Twenty homes in a Leicestershire village have been given initial approval, despite fears from locals over them potentially making flooding issues worse. The houses will be built on a field off Chaveney Road, in Quorn, as long as Severn Trent Water does not lodge an objection to the scheme.

Details of the development, put forward by a Mr Marriott, were given to Charnwood Borough Council's plans committee at a meeting last week. Some 23 local residents had objected to the proposals, along with Quorn Parish Council, with fears raised including a possible increase in traffic accidents, existing flooding issues being exacerbated, the loss of countryside and the effects of pollution from nearby Mountsorrel Quarry on the new residents.

A bungalow will be demolished to provide access to the site. Objector Lance Wiggins told the committee that while the development might have “limited economic benefits”, it would have an adverse impact on the village. “The public footpath that runs the full length of this site is one of the most popular for walkers in the village, and this development would completely alter the character of this part of that route,” he said.

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A report by borough council planning officers said the area of the site where homes would be built was in the lowest risk category for flooding. The report also stated that Leicestershire County Council, in its capacity as the lead local flood authority, also had no objections to the scheme, but asked for conditions to be added to tackle surface water drainage.

Chris Ronald, chairman of Quorn Parish Council's planning committee, told the meeting Storm Henk had flooded the main roads through the village, leaving it “impassable for at least a day”. “We’re living in an era of climate change and can expect there to be more, and worse, storms like the ones we had in January, and this has simply not been taken account of in what the applicant has put forward or in what the [council planning] officer has reported to the committee," he said "It would be pretty reckless to give any kind of go ahead to this scheme until we are much clearer about the potential for even more damage from flooding than we’re having already.”

The report added: “The Local Highway Authority have looked closely at the objections received based on highways issues including those reporting recent events, but do not consider that the modest increase in traffic flow arising from the development will significantly increase their propensity.”

But ward councillor Lee Westley, who was unable to attend the meeting, said in a statement read out to members: “These 20 houses will add pressure to an already overstretched village which has played its part, and my safety concerns regarding access to the site from Chaveney Road remain as valid as ever. I disagree with the [local highways authority's] accident data which is simply inaccurate.”

Nonetheless, councillors voted unanimously to approve planning officers’ recommendations. The decision means the scheme can go ahead, as long as Severn Trent Water does not object to it, and subject to successful negotiations regarding financial contributions from the developer to local facilities and services. The council will be seeking more than £400,000 in financial contributions from Mr Marriott. Eight affordable homes will also be required by the council as part of the scheme.

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