Local Plan Update
After many postponements the Council finally considered proposed changes to the Local Plan on Tuesday 18th December which they believe will make the plan sound in the eyes of the Inspector. Cllrs Page, Bateman, Chapman and Ackerley argued for a reduction in the area of space to be added to Magna Park but they were voted down by their colleagues. So the 700,000 sq mts remains in the plan which will now be considered again by the Inspector. We understand that this hearing will take place in mid January 2019. We will of course make representations to the Inspector as we do not believe the evidence supports this large area of development.
Following the statement by the Inspector of the Local Plan HDC that Policy BE2 which allows further expansion at Magna Park is “not soundly prepared” the Executive met on Tuesday 13th November and agreed some amendments to the policy. The Executive and officers an anxious to make these changes as quickly as possible and in doing so appear not to have complied with the requests of the Inspector to provide evidence of the need for further expansion along with evidence of benefits/harm caused to local communities. On Monday 26th November the revised Local Plan will go to the full Council for approval and then out to the public for further consultation.
For other information on the Local Plan see links below
Local Plan 2011-2031
Every local council is required by government to produce a Local Plan.
Harborough District Council states that “Our new Local Plan will set out planning policies in the district for the period from 2011 to 2031.
It will make sure development meets our strategic priorities through:
- Policies to meet our future needs relating to areas such as housing, employment, community facilities, transport as well as infrastructure needed to support development
- Strategic allocations of land to meet future needs
- Policies to protect the local environment
- Identifying the boundaries of strategic and local green space”
Currently HDC has a Core Strategy 2006-2028 that will be replaced by the new Local Plan when it has been agreed.
The Core Strategy 2006-2028 adopted on 14th November 2011 states:
Magna Park Strategic Distribution
h) Protect Magna Park’s unique role as a strategic distribution centre (B8 uses/min unit size 10,000m2) of national significance and an exemplar of environment performance. No further phase of development or large scale expansion of the site, beyond the existing development footprint (to be defined in the Allocations DPD) will be supported.
However this will be completely reversed by the Local Plan 2011-2031 which was submitted to HM Inspectors in March 2018. The plan proposes the following:
BE2 Strategic distribution
- Magna Park, as identified on the Policies Map, is safeguarded for strategic storage and distribution (Class B8). Proposals for redevelopment at the existing site will be permitted where:
- each unit has at least 9,000 sq.m. gross floorspace; and
- any new building or the change of use of an existing building(s) is for Class B8 and ancillary use only; or
- the proposal for any non-strategic storage and distribution use is small-scale, proportionate in scale to the strategic storage and distribution use and ancillary to the use of individual plots.
- Additional development of up to 700,000 sq.m. for non rail-served strategic storage and distribution (Class B8) use will be permitted where it would:
- form an extension of, or be on a site adjoining, Magna Park;
- support or at least have no adverse impact on the viability and deliverability of existing or further Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SFRIs) within or serving neighbouring authorities and Leicestershire;
- increase employment opportunities for local residents, including training and apprenticeships;
- include measures to enable an increase in the proportion of the workforce commuting from locations within Harborough District;
- not lead to severe traffic congestion anywhere on the nearby strategic and local road network, particularly the A5, whether within Harborough District or outside; and
- ensure 24 hour operations do not have an unacceptable environmental, community or landscape impact in the immediate and wider surrounding area.
By coincidence 700,000 square meters it is almost the same as the total space defined in the two outstanding planning applications:
dbSymmetry: Symmetry Park: 15/00865/OUT: 279,000 sq mts
IDI Gazeley: Magna Park North: 15/01531/OUT: 433,000 sq mts
The Council agreed to submit the Local Plan 2011-2031 to the Government Inspector at an Extraordinary Council meeting on Monday 5th March 2018. From here the timetable is:
- March 2018: Submission of Local Plan to Secretary of State for public examination
- Summer 2018: Examination hearing
- October 2018: Receipt of inspector’s report
- December 2018: Adoption of the Local Plan
We have, therefore, one last chance to influence development at Magna Park. That will be during the Inspection which takes place in public and will be undertaken in summer 2018. All the views expressed during the process of producing the Local Plan, including residents’ views expressed during the two consultation periods, will be considered by the Inspector. MPisBE also hopes to attend the inspection meetings and further emphasise residents’ views about the impact of further development at Magna Park.
Facebook: Magna Park is Big Enough