The proposed Lutterworth East development will be discussed at a history-making ‘virtual’ meeting of Harborough council’s planning committee.
The controversial Leicestershire County Council blueprint is poised to be rubberstamped after being recommended for approval by planning officers.
That’s despite Harborough District Council being flooded with 153 objections from furious local people insisting the 556-acre plan is far too big.
The sprawling proposal by the M1 will be debated online – because of the Covid-19 lockdown - for the first time in the district council’s 46-year history at 6.30pm on Tuesday April 21.
The public will be able to view and follow the debate via a special weblink to be shared on the council’s website at least 24 hours before the crunch meeting.
The ambitious 225-hectare project is bound to trigger widespread interest and you will be able to find a link to the livestream on the council’s website here.
The planning committee will consider the application on the night remotely amid the coronavirus crisis.
Registered speakers will be able to have their say via phone and audio only.
Speakers have been asked to submit a written version of their statement as well.
The Lutterworth East scheme is poised to create 2,750 new homes, community facilities and employment space.
Set to take years to complete as it stretches ahead into the 2030s, the vast development would be built on land east of Lutterworth and the M1.
It would feature over 100 hectares of green space, two new primary schools, employment space to create about 2,500 jobs, a community hub and a network of footpaths and cycle routes connecting with the town centre.
The site is identified in the Harborough Local Plan as a key area to accommodate new housing in the district, known as Lutterworth East Strategic Development Area (SDA).
Some 1,260 new homes are expected to be built by 2031 and the rest after 2031.
Backing the scheme, Cllr Byron Rhodes, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for property, said: “New homes are in demand.
“And our focus is on creating quality, affordable and sustainable houses that will help people get on or move up the property ladder.”
He added: “Sustainable design, community and life-long living are at the heart of our plans.
“And from first-time buyers and families to people looking for retirement living, the development would offer a broad range of high-quality houses, including around 1,100 affordable homes.
“It also incorporates a wide-range of green features designed to maximise renewable energy and support low-carbon living, underlining our commitment to tackling climate change.”
Cllr Phil King, leader of Harborough District Council, has saluted his staff for making the virtual meeting possible.
“Huge credit to the council for enabling this to happen and putting the required technology in place so quickly in light of the current need for social distancing as people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“The Government has said it is critical that councils continue to be in a position to make key decisions, while remaining open, transparent and accessible,” said Cllr King.
“Hosting the meeting remotely means this application can be considered in a timely way in line with normal planning procedures.”