7 November 2023

As part of the coalition administration of Harborough District Council and with support of the Conservatives opposition, Darren Woodiwiss, Rose Forman and Lynne Taylor voted to defer the decision on signing the Leicester and Leicestershire Statement of Common Ground. The Green Party believes in house building where it is appropriate and that meets the needs of local people. Housing is a human right and everyone should have access to affordable, secure and comfortable accommodation.*
We took on board the concerns of our residents, listening to their struggles to get doctors appointments, school places and parking in Market Harborough. The prospect of an additional 123 houses per year from Leicester city's requirement will increase pressure on infrastructure and services across the district, so councillors have to think carefully about the potential implications. However, rejecting Leicester's unmet need could mean that the council's Local Plan is not approved, opening up the district to more development.
We have said all along that we want to make an informed decision and so expert advice on the council's duties under the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Act was requested from an eminent Kings counsel. This, plus a letter from Rachel McClean, Housing Minister, was provided just before the meeting took place. All councillors unanimously agreed that we needed to take time to study the information before making a decision. We do not yet know what future planning law will look like but we will continue to listen to our residents views and do our best for the district.
Darren Woodiwiss, leader of the Harborough ,Oadby and Wigston Green Party said, "Going forward Rose, Lynne and myself will be working with the coalition to push for all new housing in the district to be built to high, energy efficient standards. Plans should be fit for purpose and reflect the needs of the district. We also want to see houses built for local people who need them."
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