Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council must comply with the requirements of national government policy, notably those contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF advises that local planning authorities must continue to maintain a rolling 5-year supply of housing land. Furthermore, where an authority is not able to demonstrate an adequate supply of housing, housing applications should be considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council are currently unable to demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing land. Furthermore, the site is located adjacent to the existing built-up area of Markfield, is accessible and well-related to existing facilities and services and is not subject to any technical constraints or landscape designations. The site would therefore be an ideal location to accommodate a proportion of the growth required in the Borough and address the current shortfall of housing.
Local services and facilities
Pedestrian facilities are of a good standard within the local area and the town centre lies within 1km of the site. The nearest bus stop is located approximately 280 metres to the south east of the site, on London Road. The Number 120 bus service operates an hourly bus service to Leicester and Coalville. Leicester and Coalville provide a wide range of retail, leisure and employment opportunities for residents of Markfield.
Open space and countryside is also easily accessible from the site, offering residents a number of local leisure and amenity choices. Footpath R21 runs along the southern boundary of the site and the proposals offer the opportunity to potentially link to this footpath.
Around the site
The site covers an area of approximately 5.24 hectares on the south eastern edge of Markfield. The site is bounded to the north by existing residential properties along Jacqueline Road. To the west lies Ratby Lane which offers access to the site. An existing woodland belt encloses the southern boundary of the site, which contains a public footpath connecting to the centre of Markfield to the west and a network of footpaths to the east.
The location of our proposed development in relation to local facilities and pedestrian links is shown in the plan below.
We have undertaken a range of technical studies of the site and the surrounding area to establish a set of opportunities and constraints which have driven the design process so far.
The project team recently met with Leicestershire County Council (the local highway authority) to agree the access strategy for the site. This will be in the form of a new vehicular access off Ratby Lane, as shown on the exhibition plans. Access from Ratby Lane would also be provided for pedestrians and cyclists.
A Transport Assessment is being prepared for the scheme, which will determine the effects of the development on the local highway network, and the effect of the development on local junctions. A comprehensive analysis of the safety record of the local highway network will also be undertaken.
The site benefits from good transport links within the surrounding area. The A50 is located to the north of the site and provides access to Junction 22 of the M1 Junction (2.5km to the north west of the site) and Leicester to the south east (approximately 12km from the site). The M1 and A50 provide access to local destinations such as Coalville, Loughborough, and Leicester and further afield to Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport.
Flood risk and drainage
The site is in Flood Zone 1 and at low risk of fluvial flooding. Flood risk from overland flow, ditches, highways and sewers is also considered to be low.
Surface water will discharge to a watercourse located to the south of the development site, as shown on the exhibition boards. Discharge from the site will be restricted to greenfield equivalent rates and attenuated, in a detention basin, to accommodate all events up to and including the 1 in 100 year event plus a 30% allowance for climate change.
Foul water will discharge to Severn Trent Water’s sewer network located in Countryman Way which will require a foul water pumping station for the site. Severn Trent Water has confirmed that their sewers and Sewage Treatment Works have adequate capacity to accommodate the proposed development.
A landscape appraisal commenced with a site survey and computer modelling exercise to establish points from which the development can be seen, backed up by extensive site work and field walking. This exercise provided key recommendations for the design of the scheme which seeks to respond to landscape effects so that it is sensitive to views and local character.
The proposals will retain, protect and buffer the locally important hedgerows to the south and west of the site and the woodland plantation to the east. The drainage route across the southern hedgerow will also be sensitively located to avoid any major trees. A new 3 metre landscape corridor is also proposed along the northern section of the site in order to protect the amenity of the existing properties.
Ecologists have undertaken a complete range of surveys, in particular to establish whether the site supports any protected species. A population of Great Crested Newts is known to exist to the south of the site; centred around a small number of ponds in this area. The population of Great Crested Newts will be respected and opportunities provided to deliver enhancement in terrestrial and aquatic habitat as part of the proposals for the site.
As the ecology work has been progressed, this has been subject to consultation with the County Ecologist in order to inform the scope of baseline survey work and the features of the emerging masterplan. The County Ecologist has confirmed that the small breach in the southern woodland in order to accommodate the outfall to the existing watercourse would be acceptable as there would be opportunities for compensatory planting and habitat creation on site.
With respect to trees, the trees will be subject to a full survey consistent with the published British Standard (BS5837). It is anticipated that the majority of the existing trees will be retained, protected and buffered by the proposals during the construction work and thereafter as part of the development’s green space.
Information regarding the existing archaeological evidence for the site and the archaeological and historical background of the general area, has been obtained from the Leicestershire Historic Environment Record (HER), in addition to which the full suite of historic Ordnance Survey mapping has been consulted in order to assess historic land use, and a geophysical survey of the entire site has been undertaken.
There is nothing contained within the results of the geophysical survey (or information contained in the Historic Environment Record for the surrounding area) that would suggest the site contains, or has the potential to contain, any archaeological remains that would preclude or constrain development.