New Local Plan Options

Ended on the 30 October 2015
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3. Vision and Objectives

22. We have developed the following Draft Vision to explain how we would like the District to change and develop during the plan period to 2031. It has been prepared to reflect the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Council's corporate priorities and local issues and priorities.

23. The Draft Vision is supported by a number of Draft Objectives which specify what we are looking to achieve in relation to a series of topic headings. We would like your views on both the Draft Vision and the Draft Objectives. These should reflect local concerns and aspirations and will be delivered primarily through the policies of the new Local Plan. The Vision and Objectives provide the basis for the options which follow and against which the options will be tested, before a preferred option is chosen.

New Local Plan Draft Vision

In 2031, Harborough will be a vibrant, safe and prosperous District which retains its distinct identity as a predominantly rural area of villages and market towns and where local communities enjoy a high quality of life. Residents will benefit from increased access to suitable housing, a wider range of local better skilled jobs, and good quality services and facilities which promote healthy and safe lifestyles.

The District will have a diverse and thriving economy, with vibrant towns and large villages which act as employment and service centres for their surrounding rural areas. The overall diversity and quality of Harborough's countryside, natural environment and built heritage will have improved. There will be better access to the countryside and an improved range of open spaces for local communities to enjoy.

The District will have improved resilience to the impacts of climate change, with new development located in areas of low flood risk and incorporating Sustainable Drainage Systems to manage run-off water sustainably. Low carbon design, increased provision for walking and cycling and an emphasis on improving public transport will have contributed to a reduction in the District's carbon footprint.

New development will have been delivered in the most sustainable locations. The market towns of Market Harborough and Lutterworth, along with the edge of Leicester settlements, Broughton Astley and the rural centres will have been the focus for development, where possible through sustainable urban extensions. A mix of residential development will have been delivered to meet local needs and the necessary infrastructure and community facilities/services required to support growth will have been delivered on time to meet the needs of new and existing communities. In the wider countryside, appropriate small-scale development will have been allowed where this meets local needs and supports the long-term sustainability of a settlement.

The local economic base will have been strengthened through the fostering of new enterprise and the sustainable growth of existing businesses. Supporting infrastructure will be available to allow businesses to grow. Overall the workforce will be better educated and able to respond to the needs of local businesses. The District will have full high speed broadband coverage benefitting businesses and local residents.

New housing will reflect local needs in terms of type, size and tenure and promote greater equality of access to suitable accommodation. Older people will have increased access to accommodation to suit their changing needs and starter homes will have allowed a new generation of home owners onto the housing ladder. An increased stock of affordable homes will be available to meet the needs of those unable to afford market housing. New housing developments will be of high quality and well designed, ensuring that the character of the District's towns and villages is maintained and protected.

Communities will have access to improved social, recreational, health and educational facilities. Existing valued community services will have been retained and innovative ways of service delivery introduced. The elderly, young and other vulnerable sections of the community will feel supported. Levels of crime and the fear of crime will have been further reduced.

Communities across the District will have embraced neighbourhood planning, affording them the opportunity to shape the future of their town or village through decisions relating to where and what development takes place locally.

Figure 2: New Local Plan Draft Vision

(51) Q1. Do you have any comments on the Draft Vision?

New Local Plan Draft Objectives

24. The following Draft Objectives will help to deliver the Vision and guide development in the District to 2031. Again, we very much welcome your comments and suggestions to help inform the final set of Objectives for the new Local Plan.



Provide a range of market and affordable housing types, tenures and sizes in appropriate locations which meets local housing needs and recognises the specific accommodation requirements of the aging population and the need for starter homes to help first time buyers.



Promote sustainable economic growth across the District through facilitating the growth of existing businesses, fostering new local enterprise and helping to create more jobs which meet local employment needs, contribute to reducing the need for out-commuting and help to increase the sustainability and self containment of communities, whilst encouraging the development of a vibrant, diverse and sustainable business community and a responsive, well-educated workforce.


Location of Development:

Locate new development in sustainable locations that respect environmental capacity, prioritising the appropriate re-use of previously developed land and buildings where possible.



Support local communities and maintain a high quality of life by ensuring that new development delivers the necessary infrastructure to support health, education, security, culture, transport, open space, recreation and the provision of reliable utilities for water, power, waste and telecommunications including high speed broadband connectivity.


Protection of Local Services:

Protect, enhance and, where appropriate, secure the provision of additional accessible community services and local facilities, supporting innovation in their delivery across the District.


Natural Environment:

Protect and enhance the quality, diversity, character, local distinctiveness and biodiversity of the natural environment, ensuring that open countryside is protected against insensitive and sporadic development and that the characteristics of the local landscape are respected.


Built Environment:

Safeguard and enhance the character and built heritage of the District's settlements, recognising the important contribution that heritage assets make to the distinctiveness of the District's towns and villages and the need to secure a high quality public realm.


Town/Village Centres:

Support and enhance the vitality and viability of town and village centres, as places for shopping, leisure, cultural, commercial and community activities, recognising their valued role as the heart of their communities and encourage retail, leisure and commercial development in appropriate locations.



Ensure that new development is of high quality and sustainable design which reflects local character and distinctiveness, provides attractive and healthy environments, promotes community safety, reduces anti-social behaviour, reduces the fear and incidence of crime, is supported by appropriate facilities and services, respects residential amenity, promotes sustainable behaviours and is flexible, meeting Lifetime Homes requirements.



Provide greater opportunities to reduce car use and the impacts of road traffic on local communities, the environment and air quality, by locating most development where there is good access to jobs, services and facilities, and by supporting improvements in public transport and walking/cycling networks.


Flood Risk:

Locate new development in areas which will not put life or property at risk of flooding and build resilience by requiring the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems in new development and allowing for the provision of infrastructure associated with minimising flood risk.


Environmental Impact:

Reduce the environmental impact of development and its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change reducing pollution and waste, maximising water and energy efficiency, and promoting the use of low carbon technologies and sustainable construction methods.


Tourism and Culture:

Promote the sustainable growth of tourism, cultural activities and access to the countryside across the District for the benefit of both residents and visitors.


Neighbourhood Planning:

Encourage and support communities to make decisions at the local level through the preparation of neighbourhood plans and facilitate this process by setting out a clear strategic policy framework for their preparation.

Figure 3: Draft Objectives for the New Local Plan

(60) Q2. Do you have any comments on the Draft Objectives, or any additional objectives to suggest?

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