Hundreds view plans for Melton’s future

Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document at Tuesday evening's final public consultation event EMN-161130-132009001
Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document at Tuesday evening's final public consultation event EMN-161130-132009001
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Hundreds of residents have attended public consultation events for Melton’s draft Local Plan as the final one was held in the town on Tuesday evening.

People have until December 19 to comment on the outline plan which will influence development across the borough for the next 20 years.

Melton Council officials have hosted public consultation events at Gaddesby, Old Dalby, Harby and Melton to display maps, answer queries and drum up as much feedback as possible.

Comments have been made online and by post and will be considered by an inquiry Inspector alongside the plan proposals in the new year.

Jim Worley, head of regulatory services at the council, said: “The number of people attending the four public events has run into the hundreds.

“Rather than taking feedback in person, we are asking people to submit their comments online or on printed forms.

“The main areas of interest have been the housing developments and schools being planned and roads.

“There has been interest in the bypass and that has been fuelled by the news about the government funding the business case for the relief road.”

The Melton Local Plan Pre-Submission Draft provides for 6,125 new homes to be built up to 2036.

These include new properties in what have been termed ‘sustainable neighbourhoods’ in the town, 1,700 to the north of Melton and 1,500 to the south.

There are also 50 allocations of housing development land across 17 villages.

The latter include Ab Kettleby, Asfordby, Asfordby Hill, Bottesford, Easthorpe, Frisby, Gaddesby, Harby, Hose, Long Clawson, Old Dalby, Somerby, Stathern, Thorpe Arnold, Waltham and Wymondham.

The draft plan also sets out 31 hectares of development land to provide additional employment for residents of the borough.

Mr Worley said any concerns over the extent of planned housing development had to be balanced with the desire to build a bypass.

He added: “If there is a requirement to build a bypass for Melton you have to accept a modicum of new homes to be built to help pay for it.”

Somerby resident Graham Wassall said he was concerned about the number of new homes which would be built if the draft plan is approved.

As he examined a display board at the consultation event, he said: “The Local Plan with 6,125 new houses would increase the homes in the borough by 28.9 per cent.

“I can’t understand why we would need that many when the population is not expected to rise by 30 per cent.”

He added: “I know every village will have its concerns but in terms of Somerby it will be a bit of disaster with the number of new houses planned there. It will completely change the village.”

To comment on the draft plan go online at www.meltonplan.co.uk or pick up a representation form from the Melton Council offices at Parkside on Burton Road.