Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

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Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 Opening sentence

Representation ID: 7617

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Policy H1 is unsound as it is not positively prepared. It fails to allocate any additional housing to the Kibworths and in is unjustified in doing so as it fails to consider the needs of the Kibworths as a settlement or the role that further development at a smaller scale to the previously proposed SDA could play in delivering community benefits such as the much needed new primary school (Enclosure 2);

Full text:

Manor Oak Homes are actively involved in the development
of the Kibworths and are committed to enabling the sustainable development of the parishes to help meet the local area's housing, employment, education and community infrastructure needs. It is in this context that Manor Oak Homes are making these representations as they seek to ensure that the Local Plan provides for the sustainable development needs of the area. As currently drafted they do not believe that the draft plan proposes the most appropriate strategy when considered against reasonable alternatives and based on proportionate evidence, nor is effective as it will not ensure the delivery of the required level of development over the plan period.
Manor Oak Homes welcome the Council's proposal to meet the District's full Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) of 10,640 dwellings (2011-2031), plus a small uplift to respond to the Magna Park Growth Sensitivity Study and an additional 15% contingency. While they are supportive however of a strategy that includes SDAs, they have concerns regarding the extent to which the Lutterworth and Scraptoft SDA's will deliver new housing during the plan period in accord with the Council's assumptions and consider that the decision not to give the
Kibworths a minimum housing target fails to recognise its sustainability and that allocating further land for housing offers the opportunity to resolve current infrastructure constraints i.e education. In this context, they have significant concerns regarding the effectiveness and therefore the soundness of the Proposed Submission Local Plan in delivering the proposed housing requirement (in accordance with NPPF Paragraph 182).
While Manor Oak Homes are disappointed that an SDA to the west of the Kibworths is not being proposed by the emerging plan, they accept that a number of parcels of land within it now have planning permission and represent commitments such that the remainder cannot provide the scale of additional development required of an SDA.
They are surprised though that given the relative sustainability of the land to the west of the Kibworths as demonstrated by its positive performance when the proposed SDA was assessed as part of the Sustainability Appraisal accompanying the Harborough Local Plan: Options Consultation Paper - September 2015, and the positive conclusions drawn regarding the sustainability of the Kibworths in determining a number of recent planning applications there, that the plan does not set a minimum housing requirement for the settlement. Manor Oak Homes do not therefore wish to object to the proposed allocation of land at Scraptoft and Lutterworth as SDA's but they are concerned by the overly optimistic assumptions being made by the emerging plan regarding their delivery and believe that there is a need to allocate additional land for housing. So far as new housing
should be directed where it can best respond to local needs and thereby promote sustainable patterns of development, they further believe the plan has erred in not setting a minimum housing requirement for the
Kibworths and that additional housing land should be allocated there.

Policy H1 states that in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls, land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes will be provided during the plan period to 2031 in the following locations:
1. Scraptoft SDA - 1,200 dwellings in accordance with Policy SC1;
2. Market Harborough - a minimum of 1,140 dwellings on three allocations;
3. Lutterworth SDA - 1,500 dwellings in accordance with Policy L1;
4. Fleckney - a minimum of 295 dwellings, including one allocated site for 130 dwellings;
5. Rural Centres - a minimum of 10 dwellings in Billesdon, 35 in Great Glen and 65 in Houghton on the Hill; and 6. Selected Rural Villages - minimum targets set of between 10-50 dwellings for specific villages.

The level of development proposed meets the District's full Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) of 10,640 dwellings (2011-2031), plus a small uplift to respond to the Magna Park Growth Sensitivity Study and an additional 15% contingency in the supply of housing land to allow for possible future
circumstances affecting the supply of housing in the District, including:
* a potential need to help meet demonstrable unmet housing need arising from other local planning authorities within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA);
* a slower delivery than expected on housing allocations and/or the strategic development areas;
* housing sites gaining planning permission but not delivering completed housing in a timely manner or at the density originally proposed;
* changing economic circumstances affecting the take-up of housing;
* the non-delivery of housing sites due to site-specific factors; and
* in order to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Manor Oak Homes consider that this policy is unsound as it is not positively prepared, justified or effective.

Positively Prepared and Justified

As outlined at Enclosure 1, the Kibworths is by far the largest of the Rural Centres and should actually be considered to be a Key Centre due to its size and its role providing key retail, service and employment infrastructure. In this context, Manor Oak Homes consider that the decision not to give the Kibworths
a minimum housing target fails to recognise its sustainability and that allocating further land for housing offers the opportunity to resolve current infrastructure constraints i.e. education.

Policy H1 sets minimum housing targets for the majority of the settlements in the district, with the exception of Broughton Astley (which is set to deliver significant housing through its made neighbourhood plan), the Kibworths and several settlements that are considered too small to accommodate growth. The Kibworths is therefore the only settlement above the level of very small villages not to be set a minimum housing target. Section 17 of the draft plan explains the reason for this decision stating that: "Given the high number of commitments already in place, there is no minimum target set for the Kibworths in the Local Plan."

This decision leaves by far the largest of the Rural Centres, and one that actually performs as a Key Centre, as having fewer homes proposed to be allocated than the majority of the Selected Rural Villages. We question the sustainability of this approach and the justification behind this decision. The Local Plan states that there have been over 400 dwellings completed since 2011 in the Kibworths and there are planning commitments for nearly 450 further homes. This level of development is given as the reason for not planning for further sustainable growth, but further investigation shows that the Council has not based this decision on a thorough consideration of reasonable alternatives as required by NPPF Paragraph 182 for the Local Plan to be considered sound.

First and foremost, the Local Plan identifies the level of housing completions since 2011 in the Kibworths as significant in demonstrating that the Kibworths are already meeting their share of development. This is not the case, however, as this high level of delivery is primarily a result of the build out of Land off Wistow and Warwick Road that was allocated for development by Policy KB/1 of the Harborough District Local Plan adopted in April 2001. The delivery of these homes is therefore not a sign of the Kibworths meeting a proportion of current needs, but rather the much-delayed development of a site that was allocated to meet the needs of the district in the previous plan period that ended in 2006. Conversely, the delivery of 400 dwellings since 2011 is actually therefore a sign of past under delivery which the Kibworths is only just catching up with. Recent housing commitments that have come forward due to the Council's inability to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply are a further demonstration of this need to catch up with past under delivery.

Secondly, the Proposed Submission document identifies the level of committed development in the Kibworths as further justification for not allocating any additional land. This indicates a short-sighted decision-making process that fails to assess reasonable alternatives fully or fairly and therefore fails to assess the sustainability of the Kibworths as a location for growth. As outlined in the cover letter to these representations, the Kibworths was identified in the Harborough Local Plan: Options Consultation Paper (2015) as a potential option for a Strategic Development Area (SDA) of up to 1,200 dwellings. The Kibworth SDA option was then shortlisted as one of four preferred options for assessment, before a decision was made to allocate land at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North as the Council's proposed SDAs. In this respect, the approach that has been taken by the Council has been one of extremes - either the Kibworths are allocated with an SDA or they receive no additional development at all. There has been no assessment of the needs of the settlement, nor any recognition of how additional development at a smaller scale to the previously proposed SDA could still achieve many of the benefits of the SDA that are desperately needed, most notably a new primary school site (as detailed further at Enclosure 6).

Effectiveness

As outlined, the provision for housing set out at Policy H1 proposes to deliver a 15% contingency uplift on the OAHN in order to allow for possible future circumstances affecting the supply of housing in the district. We welcome and support this proposed strategy to deliver an uplift on the OAHN, but raise concern regarding one of the stated reasons for this contingency i.e. "a slower delivery than expected on housing allocations and/or the strategic development areas".
Manor Oak Homes consider that it is prudent to include a contingency to provide a buffer against unforeseen circumstances that cannot reasonably be predicted or planned for (e.g. economic factors and potential unmet need elsewhere in the HMA), but such a buffer should only be used when circumstances affecting housing need or delivery are genuinely unpredictable. As is explained at Enclosures 3 and 4, Manor Oak Homes consider that the two SDAs are likely to fail to deliver the predicted number of homes during the plan period resulting in a shortfall against the plan requirement of circa 1,050 homes. This shortfall would account for the majority of the 15% uplift and would leave very little flexibility in the housing supply to meet truly unpredictable circumstances. Policy H1 cannot therefore be considered to represent an effective policy in accordance with NPPF Paragraph 182 as it will not deliver the level of development proposed alongside an adequate buffer to account for unforeseen circumstances.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

SC1 clause 1

Representation ID: 7618

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Policy SC121 relating to Scraptoft North Strategic Development Area is unsound so far as it will fail to deliver the predicted number of homes during the plan period, which is likely to result in a shortfall against the plan requirement of circa 450 homes (Enclosure 3);

Full text:

Policy SC1 - Scraptoft North Strategic Development Area
Policy SC1 proposes to allocate land at Scraptoft North to deliver 1,200 homes during the plan period. In addition to these homes, Section 13 of the Local Plan identifies that Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby have already seen growth of over 260 dwellings since 2011 and that there are about 700 committed dwellings not forming part of the SDA.
Effectiveness In order to be considered effective, NPPF Paragraph 182 states Local Plans should be deliverable over the plan period. Based on industry standard delivery rates, Manor Oak Homes consider that the Council is overly ambitious in its expectation that 1,200 homes will be delivered on this site during the plan period. A report last year from Lichfields (http://lichfields.uk/media/1728/start-to-finish.pdf) identifies that the average planning approval period for schemes of 1,000-1,500 dwellings is 4.8 years with an additional 0.9 years from approval to first delivery (i.e. 5.7 years total) and that following the grant of planning permission the average annual build out rate is 105 dwellings per year.
A planning application has yet to be submitted for the Scraptoft SDA and considering the late addition of land to the north of Scraptoft as a potential SDA in the Local Plan's preparation, we consider the very earliest date that a planning application is likely to be submitted for the site would be the planned date of adoption for the Local Plan in October 2018. If an application were submitted in October 2018, the industry average approval time for a scheme of 1,000-1,500 dwellings of 5.7 years would mean development would not get underway until Summer 2024. This would leave 7 years in which to deliver an average of 105 dwellings per year until the end of the plan period. As detailed in the table below, this would see Scraptoft North deliver approximately 750 dwellings during the plan period, well below the 1,200 dwellings upon which the emerging plan is based.
18/19 - APP, 19/20-App, 20/21-App, 21/22 App, 22/23-App, 23/24-App, 24/25-105, 25/26-105, 26/27-105, 27/28-105, 28/29-105, 29/30-105, 30/31-105, Total: 735

This policy is unsound as it is clearly ineffective in that it will fail to deliver the predicted number of homes during the plan period, leaving a shortfall in delivery of circa 450 homes.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

L1 clause 1

Representation ID: 7619

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Policy L1 relating to East of Lutterworth Strategic Development Area is unsound so far as it will fail to deliver the predicted number of homes during the plan period, which is likely to result in a shortfall against the plan requirement of circa 600 homes (Enclosure 4);

Full text:

Policy L1 proposes the allocation of land east of Lutterworth as an SDA to deliver a total of 2,750 dwellings of which 1,500 are planned to come forward during the plan period, with the remainder to meet requirements after 2031. In addition to these homes, Section 15 of the Local Plan identifies that Lutterworth has already seen growth of over 260 dwellings since 2011 and that there are around 500 committed dwellings that are not part of the SDA.
Effectiveness
In order to be considered effective, NPPF Paragraph 182 states Local Plans should be deliverable over the plan period.
The current Local Plan consultation was delayed by over 6 months from late 2016 in order to allow for what were described as 'outstanding remaining spatial issues' linked to the proposed SDA to the east of Lutterworth to be resolved, including concerns regarding: the scale of infrastructure investment, impact on a nearby SSSI, traffic impact, landowner cooperation and the potential need to use compulsory purchase powers and assumptions on delivery. During this 6 month delay, the Council undertook further work that was made available to members ahead of an Executive Meeting on 15th May 2017, but not to the general public. This information included further details provided by SDA promoters, conclusions reached on the potential use of compulsory purchase powers and a risk assessment of the SDA which presumably deals with key aspects that could affect its delivery.
Without seeing the additional assessments made available to members, it is far from clear whether the significant issues regarding the delivery of the Lutterworth SDA (i.e. due to the scale of infrastructure investment, lack of landowner cooperation and the potential need to use compulsory purchase powers) have been satisfactorily resolved. This is an important point that will need to be the subject of detailed examination by the appointed inspector. It is beyond the scope of these representations to conduct a detailed assessment of whether the scale of infrastructure and land assembly needed would significantly constrain the delivery of the Lutterworth SDA, but it is clear that there are unanswered questions here and we wish to raise significant concerns regarding the effectiveness and therefore the soundness of the Proposed Submission Local Plan in delivering its planned quantum of development.
To illustrate this point, we refer to industry standard delivery rates as a guide to how many homes are likely to be delivered during the plan period at this SDA. A report last year from Lichfields (http://lichfields.uk/media/1728/start-to-finish.pdf) identifies that the average planning approval period for schemes of 2,000+ dwellings is 6.1 years with an additional 0.8 years from approval to first delivery (i.e. 6.9 years total) and that following the grant of planning permission the average annual build out rate is 161 dwellings per year.
A planning application has yet to be submitted for the Lutterworth SDA and it is clear from the issues surrounding infrastructure provision and compulsory purchase that it could be some time before an application is ready to be submitted. On this basis, we consider the very earliest date that a planning application is likely to be submitted for the site would be the planned date of adoption for the Local Plan in October 2018. If an application were submitted in October 2018, the industry average approval time for a scheme of 2,000+ dwellings of 6.9 years would mean development would not get underway until Autumn 2025. This would leave two thirds of 2025/26 for development and 5 subsequent years in which to deliver an average of 161 dwellings per year until the end of the plan period. As detailed in the table below, this would see Lutterworth East deliver approximately 900 dwellings during the plan period rather than the predicted 1,500.

18/19-App, 19/20-App, 20/21-App, 21/22-App, 22/23-App, 23/24-App, 24/25-App, 25/26-107, 26/27-161, 27/28-161, 28/29-161, 29/30-161, 30/31-161 Total:912

This policy is therefore unsound as it is ineffective. It will fail to deliver the predicted number of homes during the plan period, leaving a shortfall in delivery of circa 600 homes.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

K1 Clause 1

Representation ID: 7620

Received: 01/12/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

The proposed allocation of land to the South and West of Priory Business Park is supported but amendments are required to the policy and supporting text to ensure that it accurately reflects the provisions of the permitted scheme and would result in a viable development that meets the needs of the market. In its current form, the policy is considered ineffective and inconsistent with national policy as it places policy burdens on the site that threaten its ability to be viably developed (Enclosure 5);

Full text:

Policy K1 - Land to the South and West of Priory Business Park

Policy K1 allocates land south and west of Priory Business Park, Kibworth Harcourt for a mix of business and light industrial development (Use Classes B1a, B1b, B1c, B2).

The proposed allocation is the same site as Manor Oak Homes' outline planning permission (Ref: 16/00286/OUT) for up to 11,368m² of commercial/industrial floorspace, up to 882m² of office floorspace and up to 294m² of retail floorspace.
Manor Oak Homes fully support the proposed allocation of their land for employment development, but consider that amendments are required to the policy and supporting text to ensure that it accurately reflects the provisions of the permitted scheme and would result in a viable scheme that meets the needs of the market.

Manor Oak Homes wish to raise concern regarding the following elements of the proposed policy and its supporting text:
* No provision is made for A1 retail floorspace; and
* Paragraph 17.2.5 seeks to restrict the size of the proposed B1b/B1c/B2 units.

Retail Floorspace

The permitted scheme includes an element of retail floorspace totalling 240m², but despite this Policy K1 does not propose to allocate the site for any A1 retail use. Manor Oak Homes are therefore very concerned regarding the omission of retail use from the proposed policy as this could constrain the delivery of its consented development.

Manor Oak Homes' outline planning application was accompanied by a Retail Statement which includes a health check report of the Principal Shopping Area of the Kibworths and confirms that the centre is healthy, and able to withstand any minor impacts of the proposed store with no threat to the overall vitality or viability of the centre. The application was also supported by evidence from a Public Exhibition held to publicise the proposals at which local residents raised the limited provision of local shopping as an issue that needed resolving.
It is therefore considered that there is no justified reason why the Council should seek to restrict the approved retail uses and we request that the policy is amended to include retail use as part of the allocation.

It is also worth noting at this stage that detailed plans for the approved retail use are currently being drawn-up as our client has received interest from several parties to provide a food store on the site. The provision of this store may require a fresh planning application on the site, however, as the currently interested parties would seek more floorspace than currently approved. In including retail use within the policy, we therefore request that the Council include a degree of flexibility on the level of floorspace allocated to allow for increased provision if required. We note that draft Policy RT2 - Town and Local Centres requires a sequential test for the development of main town centre uses outside of town centres and an impact assessment for development of town centre uses of, or in excess of, 500m² gross floorspace. In this context, we do not consider it necessary for Policy K1 to restrict the allocated retail floorspace as this will be effectively controlled through the development management process.

Size of Units

The supporting text to the policy at paragraph 17.2.5 states that the allocation is for the "Provision of approximately 12,500sq.m of business floorspace in units ranging from 48sq.m to 140sq.m". The size of the units specified in this paragraph is not in accordance with the permitted scheme and does not meet the needs of the market:
* The permitted scheme, although indicative, proposed 28 No. B1b/B1c/B2 units totalling up to 11,375m² and the indicative layout shows units ranging in size from circa 100m² to circa 900m². Furthermore, Condition 14 of the consent refers specifically to 28 employment units as having been approved. It is not possible to achieve the approved level of B1b/B1c/B2 floorspace in 28 units ranging from 48m² to 140m². To be in accordance with the proposed policy, the reserved matter application would therefore need to greatly increase the proposed number of units from 28 to over 100.
* The outline planning application on the site was supported by an Industrial Market Overview produced by Wells McFarlane which demonstrates that the most popular size for industrial units in the area is between 111m² and 279m². In addition to this, evidence was submitted from a business based at Priory Business Park, demonstrating a specific need for units of over 1,000m². Manor Oak Homes are currently preparing a reserved matters application for phase 1 of the approved scheme which would deliver commercial units ranging in size from 101m² to 930m², with the majority of units being under 300m² and a handful of larger units to meet specific needs.

This proposed mix of units to be submitted with the forthcoming reserved matters application represents a viable development that meets the needs of the market. It would clearly not be a realistic proposition for the development to provide over 100 units ranging in size from 48m² to 140m². There is insufficient market demand in the Kibworths to support this number of small units, which would render the scheme unviable and undeliverable. We therefore recommend that the policy is amended to reflect the proposed range of unit sizes soon to be submitted for reserved matters approval.

-Soundness In its current form, Manor Oak Homes do not consider Policy K1 to be sound when considered against the tests of Paragraph 182 of the NPPF for effectiveness and consistency with national policy:

* Effectiveness: The policy would not result in a viable development and is therefore considered undeliverable and ineffective.

* Consistency with national policy: NPPF Paragraph 20 requires local planning authorities to plan proactively to meet the development needs of business and Paragraph 173 requires plans to be deliverable and states that sites identified in the plan should not be subject to such a scale of policy burdens that their ability to be developed is threatened. The policy in its current form does not meet the needs of local businesses and places restrictions in terms of the size of the proposed units and the omission of retail uses from the allocation that threaten the ability of the permitted scheme to be developed. Policy K1 is not therefore in accordance with national policy.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

17.2 Explanation

Representation ID: 7621

Received: 01/12/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

The proposed allocation of land to the South and West of Priory Business Park is supported but amendments are required to the policy and supporting text to ensure that it accurately reflects the provisions of the permitted scheme and would result in a viable development that meets the needs of the market. In its current form, the policy is considered ineffective and inconsistent with national policy as it places policy burdens on the site that threaten its ability to be viably developed (Enclosure 5);

Full text:

Policy K1 - Land to the South and West of Priory Business Park

Policy K1 allocates land south and west of Priory Business Park, Kibworth Harcourt for a mix of business and light industrial development (Use Classes B1a, B1b, B1c, B2).

The proposed allocation is the same site as Manor Oak Homes' outline planning permission (Ref: 16/00286/OUT) for up to 11,368m² of commercial/industrial floorspace, up to 882m² of office floorspace and up to 294m² of retail floorspace.
Manor Oak Homes fully support the proposed allocation of their land for employment development, but consider that amendments are required to the policy and supporting text to ensure that it accurately reflects the provisions of the permitted scheme and would result in a viable scheme that meets the needs of the market.

Manor Oak Homes wish to raise concern regarding the following elements of the proposed policy and its supporting text:
* No provision is made for A1 retail floorspace; and
* Paragraph 17.2.5 seeks to restrict the size of the proposed B1b/B1c/B2 units.

Retail Floorspace

The permitted scheme includes an element of retail floorspace totalling 240m², but despite this Policy K1 does not propose to allocate the site for any A1 retail use. Manor Oak Homes are therefore very concerned regarding the omission of retail use from the proposed policy as this could constrain the delivery of its consented development.

Manor Oak Homes' outline planning application was accompanied by a Retail Statement which includes a health check report of the Principal Shopping Area of the Kibworths and confirms that the centre is healthy, and able to withstand any minor impacts of the proposed store with no threat to the overall vitality or viability of the centre. The application was also supported by evidence from a Public Exhibition held to publicise the proposals at which local residents raised the limited provision of local shopping as an issue that needed resolving.
It is therefore considered that there is no justified reason why the Council should seek to restrict the approved retail uses and we request that the policy is amended to include retail use as part of the allocation.

It is also worth noting at this stage that detailed plans for the approved retail use are currently being drawn-up as our client has received interest from several parties to provide a food store on the site. The provision of this store may require a fresh planning application on the site, however, as the currently interested parties would seek more floorspace than currently approved. In including retail use within the policy, we therefore request that the Council include a degree of flexibility on the level of floorspace allocated to allow for increased provision if required. We note that draft Policy RT2 - Town and Local Centres requires a sequential test for the development of main town centre uses outside of town centres and an impact assessment for development of town centre uses of, or in excess of, 500m² gross floorspace. In this context, we do not consider it necessary for Policy K1 to restrict the allocated retail floorspace as this will be effectively controlled through the development management process.

Size of Units

The supporting text to the policy at paragraph 17.2.5 states that the allocation is for the "Provision of approximately 12,500sq.m of business floorspace in units ranging from 48sq.m to 140sq.m". The size of the units specified in this paragraph is not in accordance with the permitted scheme and does not meet the needs of the market:
* The permitted scheme, although indicative, proposed 28 No. B1b/B1c/B2 units totalling up to 11,375m² and the indicative layout shows units ranging in size from circa 100m² to circa 900m². Furthermore, Condition 14 of the consent refers specifically to 28 employment units as having been approved. It is not possible to achieve the approved level of B1b/B1c/B2 floorspace in 28 units ranging from 48m² to 140m². To be in accordance with the proposed policy, the reserved matter application would therefore need to greatly increase the proposed number of units from 28 to over 100.
* The outline planning application on the site was supported by an Industrial Market Overview produced by Wells McFarlane which demonstrates that the most popular size for industrial units in the area is between 111m² and 279m². In addition to this, evidence was submitted from a business based at Priory Business Park, demonstrating a specific need for units of over 1,000m². Manor Oak Homes are currently preparing a reserved matters application for phase 1 of the approved scheme which would deliver commercial units ranging in size from 101m² to 930m², with the majority of units being under 300m² and a handful of larger units to meet specific needs.

This proposed mix of units to be submitted with the forthcoming reserved matters application represents a viable development that meets the needs of the market. It would clearly not be a realistic proposition for the development to provide over 100 units ranging in size from 48m² to 140m². There is insufficient market demand in the Kibworths to support this number of small units, which would render the scheme unviable and undeliverable. We therefore recommend that the policy is amended to reflect the proposed range of unit sizes soon to be submitted for reserved matters approval.

-Soundness In its current form, Manor Oak Homes do not consider Policy K1 to be sound when considered against the tests of Paragraph 182 of the NPPF for effectiveness and consistency with national policy:

* Effectiveness: The policy would not result in a viable development and is therefore considered undeliverable and ineffective.

* Consistency with national policy: NPPF Paragraph 20 requires local planning authorities to plan proactively to meet the development needs of business and Paragraph 173 requires plans to be deliverable and states that sites identified in the plan should not be subject to such a scale of policy burdens that their ability to be developed is threatened. The policy in its current form does not meet the needs of local businesses and places restrictions in terms of the size of the proposed units and the omission of retail uses from the allocation that threaten the ability of the permitted scheme to be developed. Policy K1 is not therefore in accordance with national policy.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 Opening sentence

Representation ID: 7624

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Land to the West of Warwick Road, Kibworth Beauchamp should be allocated for up to 400 dwellings, together with a new 2 form entry primary school in response to acute capacity issues at the existing school and to provide additional housing in a sustainable location that can assist in making up for an anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDA (Enclosure 6); and

Full text:

Omission Site 1 - Land West of Warwick Road

Land to the West of Warwick Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, as identified on Plan 2 below, should be allocated for up to 400 dwellings, together with a new 2 form primary school in response to acute capacity issues at the existing school and to provide additional housing in a sustainable location that can assist in making up for an anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth
and Scraptoft North SDAs.

The allocation of Manor Oak Homes' Land to the West of Warwick Road, we consider, would assist in resolving some of the current problems relating to the soundness of the draft Local Plan. As explained in our representations contained at Enclosures 1-4, the Local Plan cannot in its current form be considered sound as it is unjustified in including the Kibworths as a Rural Centre and not a Key Centre
(see Enclosure 1) and on this basis it fails to plan positively for the needs of the Kibworths going forwards or to consider its potential to deliver sustainable housing growth over and above its current commitments (Enclosure 2). In addition, it makes overly optimistic assumptions regarding the delivery of the proposed SDAs at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North meaning that the plan will be ineffective in
ensuring the delivery of the proposed housing requirement (Enclosures 3 and 4).

Land West of Warwick Road offers an important opportunity to assist in ensuring that the Local Plan is sound and that the needs of the Kibworths will be met by resolving capacity issues at the existing primary school and providing additional housing in a sustainable location.

Primary School
As the Education Report prepared by EFM at Appendix 3 explains, the existing primary school in the Kibworths, Kibworth CE Primary School, has been expanded a number of times and is now a threeform entry school. It is one of the largest primary schools in Leicestershire, and the County Council considers that it is incapable of further expansion due to site constraints. This point is confirmed in the
committee reports for both Manor Oak Homes' application at Land to the South-East of Warwick Road (Ref: 15/01153/OUT) and David Wilson Homes' application at Land North of Fleckney Road, Kibworth Beauchamp (Ref: 16/00166/OUT):
* The December 2015 report for Land to the South-East of Warwick Road notes that the school had recently submitted a planning application for expansion to 630 places and that "This would take the school to the maximum size desirable, as set out in LCC's Pupil Place Planning Strategy "In the Right Place". It notes LCC's advice that "662 pupils are projected on the roll should this development proceed" which is a clear deficit even with the expansion plans; and
* The May 2017 report for Land North of Fleckney Road note that "Since September 2016, the school has increased its net capacity to 630 (90 per year group). This is the maximum size desirable, as set out in LCC's Pupil Place Planning Strategy" and "LCC Education have advised that 713 pupils are projected on the roll should this development proceed; a deficit of 83 pupil places after taking into account the 47 pupils generated by this development."

The S106 agreement for Manor Oak Homes' proposals at Land South-East of Warwick Road secures significant financial contributions towards education improvements at other schools and transport costs for transporting pupils to schools elsewhere. The resolution to grant planning permission for David
Wilson Homes' application is subject to a S106 agreement securing similar obligations. It is evident therefore that the inability of the existing primary school to be expanded represents a significant constraint to ensuring that existing committed developments in the Kibworths can be sustainably delivered.

Leicestershire County Council (LCC), as the authority with statutory responsibility for the provision and commissioning of school places, works with the school and Academy Trust to ensure the provision of sufficient school places in the locality. However, it is clear from the determination of the above applications that there are no plans to increase educational capacity in the Kibworths. The David Wilson
Homes' committee report states that "Instead pupils would be offered places at the next nearest schools with financial contributions from the developer used for the provision, improvement, remodelling or enhancement of education facilities at schools in the locality of the development." This is a far from ideal from a sustainability perspective and would lead to large numbers of primary aged children in the Kibworths travelling elsewhere to go to school, particularly when opportunities to resolve this matter exist.

As the EFM report notes, Land to the West of Warwick Road offers an important new opportunity to make a sustainable addition to primary education provision which is well placed to meet local needs, and will help address local concerns about the pressure on the existing school. The provision of this school site would ensure the sustainability of the existing approved developments in the Kibworths and
there is therefore considerable justification for allocating the proposed site for development to achieve this significant benefit to the local community. Furthermore, as noted in the EFM report, the expected pupil yield from an additional 400 dwellings, as now proposed by Manor Oak Homes, together with other committed developments, will be more than sufficient to sustain a new primary school.

As explained at Enclosure 1, the Kibworths is by far the largest of the Rural Centres and should be defined as a Key Centre, so far as it represents a sustainable location for growth due to its size and its role providing key retail, service and employment infrastructure. As outlined at Enclosure 2, Manor Oak Homes consider that the decision not to give the Kibworths a minimum housing target fails to recognise its sustainability as a settlement in addition to failing to consider how development there could assist in meeting the needs of the settlement going forward and resolving existing infrastructure constraints.

In the context of the above, we consider that the allocation of additional housing in the Kibworths represents a particularly appropriate and sustainable option for meeting the anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDAs (as outlined at Enclosures 3 and 4). Furthermore, Manor Oak Homes consider that their Land West of Warwick Road is the most sustainable option available in the Kibworths to provide the significant level of additional housing needed so far as it is located adjacent to Manor Oak Homes' approved developments at Land to the South-East of Warwick Road and Land to the South and West of Priory Business Park and David Wilson Homes' site at Land North of Fleckney Road. The sustainability of land to the west of the Kibworths was recognised in the Council's Sustainability Appraisal of potential SDA options following their Options Consultation in September 2015 and was accepted by the appeal inspector in her consideration of our client's appeal relating to their land to the south-east of Warwick Road (Ref: APP/F2415/W/16/3152485). In the decision notice for this appeal, the inspector states that:
"Based on the evidence that is before me and observations gleaned from my site visits, it is clear that future occupiers of the proposed development would have access to everyday local facilities and services using means other than the private car" (Paragraph 20). "the appeal proposal would be in a location where services and facilities would be readily accessible by sustainable modes of travel" (Paragraph 23).

The Inspector's conclusion was based upon the following observations:
- The Kibworths, is served by an extensive range of services and facilities, including two schools (one primary and one secondary), newsagents, supermarket, doctors surgery, health centre, pharmacy, community library, post office, two churches, restaurants, pubs, a range of other shops and a number of halls and other accommodation for use by community groups;
* There is an acceptable and deliverable walking route between the site and these local facilities (n.b. land to the west of Warwick Road would also benefit from this route);
* The Kibworths is served by several bus services providing connections to Leicester, Market Harborough and other settlements. Furthermore, whilst there would be access to an existing bus service from a bus stop within the Kibworth Meadows development, a short walk from the appeal site, new bus stops are proposed on Warwick Road to directly serve the proposal. These would provide direct access to local facilities by public transport (n.b. these new bus stops will be located adjacent to the promoted site); and
* The recently granted planning permission for new retail and employment facilities on land to the south and west of Priory Business Park are within a short walking distance to the north of the appeal site (n.b. they are a similar distance from the promoted site).

This appeal decision clearly demonstrates the sustainability of the promoted site for development as it is located directly across Warwick Road from the appeal site and would also be accessed off Warwick Road. In the Statement of Common Ground agreed between the Council and the appellant ahead of the appeal, all of the above points were agreed upon and it is therefore clear that the Council considers the promoted site to be sustainably located.

Appropriateness for Residential Development

In addition to the clear sustainability of the site's location and the significant social benefits that would accrue from its allocation, it meets the required tests of delivery, as set out below and there should be no hesitation from the Council in releasing it for residential development:
Available:

The application site is within a single ownership and is wholly in the control of Manor Oak Homes. As such, no barrier exists to prevent a planning application on the site being submitted immediately and the proposed scheme being implemented immediately following achieving planning consent. Suitable: The site represents a suitable and unconstrained location for the proposed development, as follows:
* Landscape: The site is identified in Harborough District Council's Rural Centres Landscape Capacity Study (July 2014) as having a medium-high capacity to accommodate development and in general the west side of the Kibworths is least constrained in landscape terms. The Initial Landscape and Visual Appraisal prepared by Aspect Landscape Planning and contained at Appendix 3 (Ref: 6080.LBN.001), confirms that the surrounding landscape has the capacity to accommodate development and that the proposed development can be successfully integrated in this location.
-Heritage: The site is in an area of overall low to moderate potential for archaeological remains being present and is located some distance from any listed buildings and the Kibworths' two conservation areas. By virtue of distance, vegetation and intervening development, including modern housing estates, the site is effectively separated from any heritage designations and would have little to no impact from a heritage perspective. The site compares positively to other locations around the Kibworths in this respect and in particular land to the north and east of the settlement where there is a higher concentration of recorded archaeological sites, land is in close proximity to the Kibworth Harcourt Conservation Area and there are a number of listed buildings located near to potential development sites including the Grade II* listed Kibworth Post Mill, which is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade I listed Old House and Grade II* listed St Wilfred's Church and Grade II listed Kibworth Hall.
* Ecology: The Preliminary Ecological Review prepared by Aspect Ecology and contained at Appendix 4 (Ref: 1005105 BN02 EOD dv1), confirms that the site is not constrained by any statutory or non-statutory ecological designations and that the habitats present are dominated by intensively managed arable land, which is of negligible ecological value. There are some small areas of habitat value on site (e.g. hedges and ponds) which have been incorporated into the indicative proposals as part of substantial areas of open space that will enhance the value of the site for wildlife. *
-Arboriculture: The site is largely absent of any significant tree cover, but there are some examples of high quality trees along the sites boundaries and along field boundaries within the site. The Preliminary Arboricultural Appraisal prepared by Aspect Arboriculture and contained at Appendix 5 (Ref: ARB9733), confirms that a sympathetic design such as that shown on the submitted Masterplan Sketch at Appendix 1 would enable the integration of important trees and mitigation for low quality removals, such that development would enhance the arboricultural interest of the site. *
-Highways: The Highways Improvements / Capacity Note prepared by JPP Consulting and contained at Appendix 6, identifies a number highways improvements that would mitigate the impact of the development on the surrounding road network. In addition to these improvement works, the inclusion of a school on the proposed allocation would reduce the number of vehicles on the Kibworths' roads associated with people accessing the existing school and the proposed school would reduce the highway impact from developments with planning permissions already granted.
* Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (i.e. Low Risk).

Achievable:

As referred to above, a package of technical assessments have been prepared, which confirms that there are no significant constraints to the development of the site. Accordingly, upon the grant of the necessary consents, the provision of new housing is achievable with immediate effect.

A report last year from Lichfields (http://lichfields.uk/media/1728/start-to-finish.pdf) identifies that the average planning approval period for schemes of 100-499 dwellings is 2.4 years with an additional 1.6 years from approval to first delivery (i.e. 4 years total) and that following the grant of planning permission the average annual build out rate is 60 dwellings per year.

Manor Oak Homes are currently preparing detailed proposals for the site with a view to submitting an outline planning application by the planned adoption date of the Local Plan October 2018, if not before. Based on industry standards contained in the Lichfield's report, if an application were submitted in October 2018, building would start in October 2022 and the scheme would deliver 60 dwellings by October 2023 (i.e. within 5 years of the adoption of the Local Plan). The proposed allocation is therefore achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years (in accordance with NPPF Paragraph 47 Footnote 11) and is considered fully developable within the plan period as outlined in the table below. 18/19-App, 19/20-App, 20/21-App, 21/22-App, 22/23-30, 23/24-60, 24/25-60, 25/26-60, 26/27-60, 27/28-60, 28/29-60 29/30-10, 30/31-0 Total: 400

Viable:

Manor Oak Homes are an established promoter of development sites with a track record of delivering viable planning consents in the Kibworths; as is demonstrated by the sale of their Land at Wistow Road, Kibworth Harcourt to Mulberry Developments. Manor Oak Homes achieved outline planning permission on this site in 2015 and Mulberry Development subsequently received reserved matters consent in May 2017 and are currently discharging conditions ahead of commencing development in the very near future.

Manor Oak Homes has a unique understanding of the local property market and can confirm that the site represents an viable source of housing land capable of viable delivery in the short-term.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 Opening sentence

Representation ID: 7625

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Land at St Wilfred's Close, Kibworth Beauchamp should be allocated for up to 45 residential units to provide additional housing in a sustainable location that can assist in making up for an anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDA (Enclosure 7).

Full text:

Omission Site 2 - Land at St Wilfrid's Close

Land at St Wilfrid's Close, Kibworth Beauchamp, as identified on Plan 3 below, should be allocated for up to 45 residential units in order to provide additional housing in a sustainable location that can assist in making up for an anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDAs.

Background

At the Council's Planning Committee meeting on 7th November 2017, members unanimously resolved to grant full planning permission, subject to a S106 agreement, for the erection of 45 retirement living apartments with associated access, parking and outdoor amenity space (Ref: 17/00500/FUL) at Land at St Wilfrid's Close, Kibworth Beauchamp. The officer's report to committee provides a comprehensive assessment of the scheme and finds the site to be a sustainable location for residential development and the proposals to be in compliance with relevant national and local planning policies.

Soundness

The representations contained at Enclosures 1-4 raise a number of concerns regarding the soundness of the emerging Local Plan, which for the most part relate to the decision not to afford the Kibworths, one of the more sustainable settlements in the District, a minimum housing requirement and the overly.optimistic assumptions that underpin the anticipated delivery rates from the two proposed SDAs and which are likely to result in the plan being ineffective in delivering the overall housing requirement over the plan period. In this context, it is considered that additional land should be allocated in the Kibworths to ensure the rolling delivery of new housing in sustainable locations. Land at St Wilfrid's Close for residential development represents one such parcel of land that could make a positive contribution in this regard.

As explained at Enclosure 1, the Kibworths is by far the largest of the Rural Centres and should be defined as a Key Centre, so far as it represents a sustainable location for growth due to its size and its role providing key retail, service and employment infrastructure. As outlined at Enclosure 2, Manor Oak Homes consider that the decision not to give the Kibworths a minimum housing target fails to recognise its sustainability as a settlement in addition to failing to consider how development there could assist in meeting the needs of the settlement going forward and resolving existing infrastructure constraints.

In the context of the above, we consider that the allocation of additional housing in the Kibworths represents a particularly appropriate and sustainable option for meeting the anticipated shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDAs (as outlined at Enclosures 3 and 4). Having received a resolution to grant planning permission Manor Oak Homes consider that their land at St Wilfrid's should be allocated for residential development to ensure its delivery.

Appropriateness for Residential Allocation

Land at St Wilfrid's comprises a rectangular paddock of low grade agricultural land with no existing structures totalling approximately 0.97ha. It is located within the settlement boundary and built up area of Kibworth Beauchamp near the centre of the village and has existing access from the end of St Wilfrid's Close that can easily be upgraded to serve a residential development. In addition, there is a second gated access to the southwest of the site leading to an adjacent footpath from which the village's facilities located along the high street are only circa 400m walk from the site. The site is also highly accessible by public transport with local bus services to Market Harborough, Leicester and surrounding areas a short walk away on either Church Road or High Street (both approximately 300-400m walk).

There are no statutory environmental designations on the site or in the immediate surrounding area and the nearest heritage designation is the Kibworth Beauchamp Conservation Area which is located to the east and south of the site and at its closest point is more than 80m east from the site. The recent resolution to grant planning permission on the site confirms that the site can accommodate 45 residential dwellings in a way that respects the constraints and opportunities that the site affords. In doing so, it recognises the suitability and available of the site to deliver new and viable housing in the short term.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

BE1 clause d - The Kibworths provision

Representation ID: 7627

Received: 17/12/2017

Respondent: Armstrong Rigg Planning

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

The Kibworths need additional commercial and community infrastructure to help sustainably deliver both committed and required levels of growth, fill notable gaps in service provision (i.e. a petrol filling station), respond to the significant need identified in the HEDNA 2017 for office floorspace and to meet the priorities set by the emerging Neighbourhood Plan for providing increased opportunities for people to work from home.

The site at Land at Windmill Farm is suitable and available for the proposed development and is sustainably
located at a key junction on the way into the Kibworths. As such we recommend that it is allocated as follows in

Full text:

We wish to submit our client's site at Land at Windmill Farm, Kibworth Harcourt for consideration as a site capable of delivering a mixed-use development comprising offices, a petrol filling station, a pre-school and live-work units. This letter demonstrates that there is a clear need for the additional commercial and community infrastructure proposed and that Land at Windmill Farm is a uniquely available, suitable, achievable and viable site to accommodate the proposed development.

In addition to these representations, Manor Oak Homes have submitted separate detailed comments on the strategic policies contained in the draft Local Plan (Ref: GA/DJ/01014/L0016). In summary, these separate representations demonstrate that: the Kibworths is set to grow by 450 homes during the plan period due to existing commitments; the Kibworths is a uniquely sustainable location for growth over and above these existing commitments; the Council's current policy of not allocating any additional residential development to the Kibworths is unjust as it fails to plan positively for the needs of the Kibworths going forwards; and that the Council's two proposed Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North are highly unlikely to deliver their predicted levels of growth during the plan period. On this basis, Manor Oak Homes' consider that the Council will need to allocate additional residential development during the plan period and that the Kibworths' is the most sustainable option for meeting this growth.

Site Description
The site is located to the east of the Kibworths, opposite the junction between the A6 and New Road, which is to be upgraded to a 3-arm roundabout junction as secured by the S106 agreement for Manor Oak Homes' permitted
development at Land to the South and West of Priory Business Park (Ref: 16/00286/OUT). This is a key junction on the way into the Kibworths from the south-east.

The site comprises 7.6ha of arable farmland that is bound by a cemetery to the north, agricultural land to the east and south and by residential properties, a telephone exchange and the A6 to the west, across from which is the built-up area of the Kibworths.

The site is in Flood Zone 1 (i.e. Low Risk), is located away from any designated heritage assets including listed buildings and the Kibworths two conservation areas and is not the subject of any environmental designations. There is a public footpath running through the site that would be accommodated within the proposals.

Proposed Development
The proposed development is for a mixed-use scheme comprising offices, a petrol filling station, a pre-school and live-work units. Access would be provided from an additional 4th arm to the 3-arm roundabout that is to be provided at the junction of New Road/ A6.

A Masterplan Sketch prepared by RG+P (Ref: 40824 / 004A) in support of these representations is contained at Enclosure 1. This demonstrates how the proposed uses could be accommodated on the site with the offices and petrol filling station located in a prominent position near to the roundabout junction and the pre-school and live­ work units located further to the north-west away from the site access. In addition to the enclosed Masterplan Sketch, the following technical documents are submitted in support of the representations:

*Initial Landscape and Visual Appraisal, Aspect Landscape Planning (Ref: 6079.LBN.001) (Enclosure 2)
*Preliminary Ecological Review, Aspect Ecology (Ref: 1005272 BNOl EOD dvl) (Enclosure 3)
*Preliminary Arboricultural Appraisal, Aspect Arboriculture (Ref: ARB9733) (Enclosure 4)
*Highway Improvement/ Capacity Note, JPP Consulting (Ref: U8572PM/MA/MA/001A) (Enclosure 5)

The proposed development has been carefully designed to take account of existing site constraints and opportunities identified in the enclosed documents.

Need for Additional Commercial and Community Infrastructure

Before turning to consider the merits of land at Windmill Farm, we outline below the clear need for the additional commercial and community infrastructure proposed:

*Offices: The Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA, 2017) outlines the following employment land needs in Harborough between 2011 and 2031:

B1a/b: 14-21 hectares
B1c/B2: 22 hectares
Small B8: 8 hectares


The table above indicates that there is a distinct need for additional office floorspace in the district. Furthermore, it is clear from the below that while the Local Plan does allocate land for office development, it does not provide for sufficient additional office floorspace in the Kibworths.

Policy Kl allocates 5.7ha of land in the Kibworths for Bla, Blb, Blc and B2 use classes, with Blc and B2 uses expected to predominate. Furthermore, our client's permitted scheme on the same site (Ref: 16/00286/OUT) will deliver a majority of light industrial units, with only 7% of the total floorspace proposed as offices. The above table indicates that the need for office floorspace accounts for between 32-41% of total employment floorspace needs and yet in the delivery planned for the Kibworths, office5 only account for 7% of the total mix. On this basis, we consider that there is a distinct need for additional office floorspace in the Kibworths to meet the needs of local business and help provide for sustainable development.

* Live- Work Units: The emerging Kibworth Neighbourhood Plan that was recently approved for referendum, includes clear support for home working as a way to help promote employment activities whilst reducing the dependency on the car for journeys to employment sites outside the Pari sh. It recognises that people may not have a suitable space within their home from which to run a business, or that they may wish to distinctly and deliberately separate their work and living space. On thi s bassi , the neighbourhood plan includes a policy supporting the construction of extensions, the conversion of outbuildings, and the development of new free-standing buildings in gardens from which businesses can operate (Policy E4). While this policy doesn't strictly allow for new live-work units, it does state in the supporting text that "There is a need to recognise the high levels of people who state that they work from home". In this context, and with respect to the need for additional homes to be allocated to meet the shortfall in the Council's predicted delivery at Lutterworth and Scraptoft North SDAs, it is clear that there is a distinct need for live-work units in the Kibworths to meet locally identified needs.

* Petrol filling station: The nearest petrol filling station to the Kibworths is a BP garage located on the A6 more than 3 miles away to the southeast. There is therefore a clear need for a petrol station in the settlement and the proposed site represents a unique opportunity to deliver this need in a location at the entrance to the Kibworths from the southeast and on a prominent road junction that will soon be upgraded to provide a 3-arm roundabout. The proposed development would be accessed from an additional 4th arm to this roundabout.

* Pre-School: To calculate the need for additional pre-school places arising from the committed and required levels of development in the Kibworths we can use the Leicestershire Planning Obligations Policy (2014). This document gives an average yield of 3.5 children per 100 new homes in each year group. On average, children attend nursery school for 4 years, although it is recognised that this fluctuates depending on the child care requirements of parents, and on this basis there will be a need for approximately 14 additional pre-school places per 100 new homes in the Kibworths.



..
-.l

As set out above, there are 450 homes already committed to be delivered in the Kibworths during the plan period which gives a yield of approximately 63 additional pre-school aged children. In this context, it is clear that there will be a need for additional pre-school places to meet the needs generated by development over the plan period. Furthermore, as set out in Manor Oak Homes' separate representations and summarised above, we consider that the Council will need to allocate several hundred more homes in the Kibworths over the plan period which will further increase the need for additional pre-school places.

Appropriateness for Development

In addition to the clear need for the commercial and community uses proposed and the sustainability of the Kibworths as a location for growth, Manor Oak Homes is pleased to confirm that its site is available, suitable, achievable and viable for the proposed development:

Available:

The application site is within a single ownership and is wholly in the control of Manor Oak Homes. As such, no barrier exists to prevent a planning application on the site being submitted immediately and the proposed scheme being implemented immediately following achieving planning consent.

Suitable:

The site is a suitable and unconstrained location for the proposed development, as follows:

*Landscape: The site is identified in Harborough District Council's Rural Centres Landscape Capacity Study (July 2014) as having a medium capacity to accommodate development and is one of the least constrained locations to the east of the Kibworths from a landscape perspective. The Initial Landscape and Visual Appraisal prepared by Aspect Landscape Planning and contained at Enclosure 2, confirms
that the site and receiving environment have the capacity to accommodate the proposals and that the proposed development can be successfully integrated in this location.

* Heritage: The site is located away from any heritage assets with the nearest listed building over 400m to the north and Kibworth Harcourt's conservation area more than 250m away to the northwest. The site is substantially separated from these heritage assets by existing built form and vegetation and would have little to no impact from a heritage perspective.

* Ecology: The Preliminary Ecological Review prepared by Aspect Ecology and contained at Enclosure 3, confirms that the site is not constrained by any statutory or non-statutory ecological designations whilst all such designations are sufficiently separated from the site that they are unlikely to provide a constrani t on potential development proposals. The only habitats of value on the site are represented by the boundary hedgerows/vegetation and associated trees, which could adequately be accommodated and safeguarded within any appropriately designed scheme. Furthermore, opportunities exist for the incorporation of enhancement measures, including the provision of new native planting.

* Arboriculture: The Preliminary Arboricultural Appraisal preparedby Aspect Arboriculture contained at Enclosure 4 confirms that the site is largely absent of any significant tree cover, but there are some examples of high quality trees along the site's boundaries and along field boundaries within the site. It confirms that a sympathetic design such as that shown on the submitted Masterplan Sketch at Enclosure
1 would enable the integration of important trees and mitigation for low quality removals, such tha t development would enhance the arboricultural interest of the site.

* Highw ays: The Highways Improvements / Capacity Note prepared by JPP Consulting and contained at Enclosure 5, confirms that access to the development can be provided off the new roundabout which is to be constructed at the A6 / New Road junction as part of committed development. In addition , it identifies a number of highways improvements already proposed that would mitigate the impact of the development on the surrounding road network.

* Flood Risk: The site is in Flood Zone 1 (i.e . Low Risk).

Achievable:

As referred to above, a package of technical assessments has been undertaken, which confirms that there are no significant constraints to the development of the site. Accordingly, upon the grant of the necessary consents, the proposed development is considered achievable with immediate effect.

Viable: I

Manor Oak Homes is an established promoter of development sites with a track record of delivering viable planning consents. In preparing its proposals for Land at Windmill Farm, Manor Oak Homes has sought the advice of expert commercial agents who have advised that there is a good demand for all the proposed uses in the Kibworths and that the values achieved from the site would result in a viable form of development. I

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