Councillors have given the unanimous green light to plans to build up to 520 new homes to the south of Melton which will include a £4.5m injection towards a long-awaited bypass.
Tonight (Thursday) Gladman Developments Ltd was granted outline planning permission for the development of land between the A607 Leicester Road and Kirby Lane.
Melton Council’s planning committee approved the plans subject to conditions including the completion of a section 106 planning agreement - a legally binding document which will ensure the £4.5m contribution towards completing the first chunk of the relief road.
Gladman will also contribute £531,000 towards educational facilities, the bulk of which is likely to go towards a new primary school serving south Melton, a £500,000 contribution towards sustainable transport and bus improvements and other financial contributions towards other services including £176,000 towards policing.
Although it was accepted the £4.5m cash injection towards the first section of the relief road would benefit Melton for many years some south Melton residents were still worried the housing development could create a rat-run through two estates.
Sarah Cox, representing residents in the Teasel Drive area, told the committee: “The access will potentially create a rat ran diverting off into the Kirby Fields estate and beyond. Drivers will circumvent queues by cutting through to Valley Road and Dalby Road before the development of a southern bypass.”
Wendy Posnett, of Honeysuckle Way, added: “We’re still concerned about the access off Kirby Lane. It is narrow and visibility is limited. There have been four accidents within the last five years where they plan to have the access.
“The development will have a significant visual impact upon the local environment and local residents which concerns us greatly.”
She added “The £4.5m contribution is only a small part of the funding needed to complete the outer relief road so who knows when it will actually happen? More assurance is needed to ensure the new bypass can be delivered.”
Pat Reid, regulatory services manager for Melton Council, told the meeting there were no proposals for vehicle access between Teasel Drive and the development site and that the access onto Kirby Lane would meet highways authority standards.
Gladman planning manager Laurie Lane added: “Vehicle access to Teasel Drive forms no part of this application whatsoever.
“The scheme will make a significant contribution to the council’s five-year housing land supply and there are no reason why planning permission shouldn’t be granted.”
As previously reported in the Melton Times it’s expected the overall cost for the whole outer relief road could be £65m, with most of that money having to come from developer contributions and with significant help from the Government.
Councillors were told it was likely the £4.5m developer contribution towards the chunk of relief road would be paid in phases as the housing development progressed over an eight to nine-year period.
Gladman will sell the land on to housebuilders who are expected to build between 70 to 80 homes a year over that period. Of the total development 15 per cent will be affordable housing (up to 78 homes).
The reduced affordable housing contribution was deemed acceptable by the council as it meant the applicant would be able to provide £4.5m towards the relief road instead of £2.5m.
Councillor Elaine Holmes wanted to know where the bypass was going to go?
Mr Reid said: “There’s an ambition in the council’s emerging Local Plan that there should be an outer relief road to the south of Melton, to the south of this development site, but it’s only an indicative route. The precise line it will follow isn’t known at present.”
Other aspects of the development, including its impact upon the landscape and its proposed internal road network, will be dealt with as part of a separate reserved matters planning application in due course.