BRAG Barrow Residents' Action Group
This village organisation was set up to co-ordinate the objections of so many residents to unwanted planning applications for major housing developments.
Contact: Sandra Forrest 01509 412477
5, Avon Road,
Barrow upon Soar LE12 8LE
Alan Willcocks Vice-Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the fields on the proposed development site, ablaze with poppies
BRAG Poster - Spring 2017
BARROW RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP
JELSON SITE – MELTON ROAD
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN
Jelson have planning permission to build 291 houses on the site at Melton Road but they do not have permission to blight your lives. You can complain if you are affected by the building work.
Working times are: 07:30 to 18:00 hrs, Monday to Friday, 07:30 to 13:00hrs on Saturday. No Sunday or Bank Holiday working. Building work should take place only in these hours. You may report working outside of these hours.
HGV deliveries – the route into the site is from Melton Road via Paudy Lane and the A46. No HGV ‘s are allowed through the village. You must observe an HGV entering the site from the direction of the village if you are reporting this.
Noise and dust – water suppression kits should be used to control noise and dust when cutting brick, tiles, stone and concrete with disc cutters and Stihl saws. General noise disturbance from the site can be reported also.
Make complaints to Charnwood Borough Council as below:
Neal Chantrill: Planning Enforcement Technician.
Sarah Hallam: Planning Enforcement Officer.
CBC Environmental Protection. (noise, dust) Tel: 01509 – 634636
Jelson Environmental Coordinator: Troy Harrison
Jelson Site Manager; Tel : 0116 - 2661541
BRAG Update - Spring 2016
Submission to Charnwood Borough Council Plans Committee – 28th April 2016
Planning Application no; P/15/0229/2, Land at Melton Road, Barrow Upon Soar
Reserved Matters: site layout, house size and style, building materials.
Mr Chairman, I am grateful for the opportunity to address this Committee.
My name is Alan Willcocks. I am resident in Barrow Upon Soar. I am presenting the views of Barrow Residents Action Group in objection to this Reserved Matters application to build up to 292 units.
Committee members will know the history of this site. It was refused twice by this committee then permitted at appeal with a flagrant disregard for local democracy and the views of local people, several hundred of whom objected in writing both at the time of the committees and the appeal.
‘ I am bound to report that there are harmful aspects to this development’ ..... these are not my words or anyone in our Group but those of the Appeal Inspector, Mr Keith Manning in his report to the Secretary of State in 2013. ( Para 338, page 56). He goes on to say ..’to which weight should be accorded’. The case of harm made by ourselves and others therefore was clearly accepted by the Inspector. Nothing has changed in the objectors view.
Firstly, we want to refer to the height of some of the buildings. Members will be aware that this site is on rising land and has pleasant views of the village before the highest point is reached. It follows that the site is highly visible from existing properties in the village so the proposal to build three storey dwellings can only add to that visibility. I would describe the inclusion of this type of property as moving us towards a ‘Rural Manhattan’. This type of property is completely out of place in this rural environment, dominant and very prominent without mitigation.
From the 2011 Census we know that more than 90% of local residents have at least one spare bedroom, some have three. From our local work we know that 33% would like to move house in the next five years and a shortage of smaller properties, including bungalows ,was identified as a barrier. Providing this type of property would free up the larger owner occupied properties no longer required by many owners. We suggest, therefore, that this application is rejected and the developer asked to bring forward a plan that is more in line with local need and aspiration. The provision of bungalows is an obvious solution to the issue of visibility and answers the need local residents have to downsize.
In his report the appeal Inspector referred to ‘the essentially SUBURBAN nature of the existing settlement .’
We categorically reject and resent this characterisation of our village. We are not a suburb, we are a village set in a pleasant rural surrounding which cannot be enhanced in any way with three storey houses and a development of this size We want to stay as a village, not become or appear as a suburb.
I now want to turn to the proposals for building materials. It is intended to use red brick and in some cases rendered and painted walls. The red brick will simply add to the visibility of the development from within the village. Serious consideration should be given to choosing building materials which are sympathetic to the natural environment. I understand Barrow Parish Council have referred to our village design statement. Bungalows built on the rising ground in earthy coloured brick would provide a very different aspect and appearance to that proposed by this developer.
On landscaping; our case is as presented to the Appeal hearing (report para 194 ‘the proposed development would harm the landscape and the harm could not be mitigated by the proposed landscaping scheme’. Actually, although not recorded in the report, our consultant also reported that an Environmental impact assessment had not and has not been undertaken. We ask you to request this before you make a final decision.
- Barrow is a village, not a suburb and due consideration should be given to the rural character of our settlement and designs suitable for that.
- The overall appearance of this development should be softened to make it less visible by removing tall buildings and using building materials which are more sympathetic to the surrounding natural environment. An environmental impact study, currently lacking, should be provided.
- The use of three storey buildings is completely unacceptable in this prominent position and all efforts should be made to hide the development from view and not create a ‘Rural Manhattan’.
We ask the Committee to refuse this application in favour of a more appropriate design proposal addressing the issues raised here.
Plan was passed by six votes to five with additional conditions to consult on the choice of building materials e.g. colour of bricks, and on the layout and position of the childrens’’ play area.
BRAG Update - Winter 2015
Jelson Homes – up to 292 units on land at Melton Road – The Breachfield
This developer has outline planning permission for up to 292 units from May 2013 and earlier this year submitted a Reserved Matters application detailing site layout, height of buildings and the building materials to be used. We referred to the intention to build three storey units on rising land as aiming to create a Rural Manhattan. Our local Ward councillors, Cllrs Pauline Ranson and Hilary Fryer ‘Called In’ the application for determination at a meeting of Charnwood Borough Council’s planning committee. At this time there is no information when this application will be heard although we do know that the Borough’s planning officer sent back the application to the developer with a number of requirements for change and by the beginning of October 2015 had not received a reply. Barrow Parish Council, your Ward councillors and BRAG will speak in opposition to this application at the planning committee. If you want to object by writing to the Borough Council the application number is P/15/0229/2.
David Wilson Homes – around 70 units at Orchard Kennels, Nottingham Road
This developer received full planning permission for this development in September 2013. At this time the Orchard Kennels website announces that the kennels will be trading until at least 3rd January 2016 but we have no information on a starting date for building work. This site has been subject, post permission, to a number of issues including land ownership and access.
Barwood Homes – around 70 units at Strancliffe Hall, Cotes Road.
Building work on this site is in progress and throughout the Summer (2015) extensive works have been on going to provide drainage for surface water (not foul water drainage). These works have required a sixteen weeks closure of Cotes Road and the attendant disruption. These works did not appear in the original plans for the site but are reassuring to Cotes Road residents who feared their properties would be flooded by water running from the site , across Cotes Road and in to their properties on the opposite side. The developer must pay for these works.
Morris Homes – 70 units at Catsick Hill, Cotes Road
An application by this developer was refused by Charnwood Borough Council’s planning committee earlier this year (2015). The developer appealed the decision and a Hearing (in public but not a public inquiry) was held on 29th and 30th September 2015 in front of government appointed planning inspector Mel Middleton. The Inspector received statements from interested parties beforehand; the appellant ( Morris Homes), Charnwood Borough Council, Barrow Parish Council and BRAG. During the inquiry there were a number of representations from the floor opposing the developer including the impact on the countryside and views across the valley to Charnwood Forest and the faulty operation of the foul sewers on Cotes Road which, on occasions, discharges raw sewage into the gardens of some existing properties. The Inspector made a site visit and to a number of key locations in the village including Barrow railway station, the primary school to see morning arrivals and the chaos caused by cars, the Barrow Bridge and traffic flows at peak times. A large amount of inquiry time was spent in arguments between the developer’s representatives and the Borough planning officers and their legal representative on the appropriate calculation of land supply for building across the Borough at this time in view of the Core Strategy for housing and the impact of massive sites on the outskirts of Loughborough and Leicester.
The result of this appeal should be known by the end of October 2015.
Alan Willcocks, Vice-Chair, BRAG
BRAG Update - Summer 2015
Jelson Aim to Create Rural Manhattan at Melton Road
The Reserved Matters application submitted by Jelson in March 2015 shows the following:
- Two and three storey buildings throughout the site, which is on rising ground, visible as a Rural Manhattan.
- Buildings of red brick to heighten visibility and showing no respect for the existing built and natural environment.
- A landscaping scheme which does not mitigate the harm to the landscape.
To see the full article in Barrow Voice, click on :-
BRAG Update - Summer 2014
300 houses on land at Melton Road?
In the last edition of BV I reported on Barrow Parish Council's (BPC) challenge, heard in the High Court, to the Secretary of State's decision to accept the Public Inquiry Inspector's recommendation to build 300 houses on land at Melton Road. The judge, Mr Justice Collins , QC, whilst expressing much sympathy with the residents of this village, said he had to make his decision based on planning law and did not uphold the challenge. However, in his judgement he emphasised the conditions within the granting of permission where the Environment Agency had said , 'No development shall be commenced until a scheme for the improvement and extension of the existing (sewer) system and improvements to the sewage treatment works has been submitted to and approved, in writing, by the local planning authority...' also Severn Trent Water is required to demonstrate that foul discharge from the development will not cause an increase in spill frequency or sewer overflows. For a review of the judgement and implications go to: http://www.39essex.com/docs/newsletters/pep_newsletter_february_2014.pdf (note; gaps are underscores) In an interview on Radio Leicester, following the outcome of the High Court judgement, a spokesperson for Jelson said they had a solution to the sewer planning conditions. Maybe, but at what cost and when? The developer has three years to deal with Reserved Matters and five years to provide some housing units or have the permission 'timed out'. We are advised the timing runs from the date of the public inquiry outcome – May, 2013. In the same interview the Jelson spokesperson was very critical of BPC which, in his view, had wasted tax payers money on the Judicial Review. I will make two points on that. Firstly, in his report the Inspector said that the Jelson scheme causes harm to the village. In this circumstance it must be the responsibility of our Parish Council to protect our interests and the High Court Judicial Review was the legal and appropriate means of doing so. The result could have dismissed the permission. Secondly, it costs as much to lose as it does to win. If the JR had gone in favour of BPC there would have been no criticism of the amount spent or the action taken. Well done BPC for taking them on, you have BRAG's full support.
70 houses on Orchard kennels, Nottingham Road? Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) planning committee granted permission to David Wilson Homes to build around 70 units on land at Orchard kennels, Nottingham Road, in 2013. BRAG was advised by CBC in April 2014 that this site is now deemed undeliverable. The plan approved included the Orchard kennels site and adjacent land which is not part of the same site and in the ownership of a third party. Planning law allows for an application for planning permission for land not in the ownership of the applicant. In this case the land, between Willow Road and the Orchard kennels, required for the development for which permission was granted, has not been sold to the developer. The developer may reapply for planning permission using a different scheme.
It is almost two years since planning permission was granted for around 70 houses on land at Strancliffe Hall, Cotes Road. It now seems that development will go ahead following a dispute concerning the drainage of surface water from the site. This was of considerable concern to residents living on the opposite side of Cotes Road. A scheme for pumping surface water, including maintenance, has now been agreed with Severn Trent Water.
Land at Catsic Hill, Cotes Road.
A public exhibition was held by Morris Homes to display their intention to apply for planning permission to build 60 units on land between Cotes Road and the railway embankment. BRAG will oppose this development on the basis that all developments use a common infrastructure regardless of the 'unique' nature of each development or the quality of the houses. The same roads, schools, doctors' surgery and sewerage system are used by all.
The Borough's Masterplan for housing for the period 2013 to 2028 was examined in public by a Government appointed inspector in March. The inspector concluded that the proposed strategy was not sound because an acceptable analysis of the needs of the housing market had not been carried out and consequently suspended the public examination for around nine months. The Core Strategy could offer protection to the village from unwanted development but as we stand now we are wide open to more housing.
Barrow Parish Council challenges Government’s ruling to allow 300 houses at Melton Road
Latest news about Barrow Parish Council's request for a Judicial Review (Melton Rd application) 18th October 2013
OCTOBER 18TH The following is the latest news on housing in Charnwood and Barrow PC's application for a Judicial Review:
Core Strategy for Planning in Charnwood
A meeting of the full council of Charnwood Borough will be held on Monday, 28thOctober in Loughborough Town Hall starting at 6pm. The meeting will be chaired by Cllr Sandie Forrest as Mayor.
The meeting will discuss plans for housing in Charnwood for the next 15 years and should be lively and well attended.
Jelson Development - Melton Road & Strancliffe Hall
Jelson Planning application Public Inquiry: update on March 18th 2013
On closing the Public Inquiry on 16th January 2013, the planning inspector, Keith Manning, announced he would be writing his report with the aim of submitting to government ministers, in late February to early March, for decision. It was later announced that the outcome of the Inquiry would be available on or by 13th May 2013.
Jelson Planning application Public Inquiry: update on Jan 3rd 2013
The Public Inquiry was due to reconvene on 5th , 6th and 7th December 2012. Of these days, inspection was carried out on the 6th December only for site visits by the Inspector, accompanied by parties to the Inquiry. The 5th and 7th December could not be used due to illness.
The Inquiry is now rescheduled for 15th and 16th January 2013 , 10:00 am at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, High Street, Loughborough.
15th Jan – highways issues
16th Jan – final submissions and closing statements.
Public presence and support on these occasions would be much appreciated.
The Inspector then writes his report with recommendation and submits it to the secretary of State (Eric Pickles) for final decision which should be available within three months.
JELSON INQUIRY ADJOURNED Oct 13th 2012
The Public Inquiry into Jelson's application to build 300 houses on land at Melton Road was adjourned after four days of proceedings on 12th October 2012. The Inquiry was originally scheduled for three days but it soon became clear that this was a considerable underestimate of the time needed to hear all representations.
The Inquiry has been scheduled to continue as below:
VENUE : RAMADA JARVIS HOTEL, HIGH STREET , LOUGHBOROUGH, LE11 2QL.
START TIME: 10.00AM
13TH NOVEMBER 2012 – TRAFFIC ISSUES INCLUDING BRIDGE OVER RIVER SOAR
5TH DECEMBER 2012 – TRAFFIC AND FLOODING
6TH DECEMBER 2012 – INSPECTORS FORMAL SITE VISIT (NO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO ATTEND)
7TH DECEMBER 2012 – SUMMARIES AND FINAL SUBMISSIONS
We strongly urge all residents who are opposed to this development to attend on 13/11, 05/12 and 07/12/ 2012. This Inquiry has a significant amount of important information to hear and your opposition is valuable.
Report of Inquiry on Nov 13th
The Public Inquiry into Jelsons' application to build 300 houses on land at
Melton Road resumed yesterday - 13/11/2012. Issues relating to the potential
for flooding, particularly for houses on Breachfield Road backing onto the
brook, were discussed. The opposing parties do not agree. This was followed
by a detailed look at the effect of the development on traffic in the
village particularly Bridge Street and the bridge over the River Soar. The
opposing parties do not agree on this either. Jelson say the changes to the
traffic lights and stop lines will mean the extra traffic from the
development will not cause any difference whereas the Barrow Parish
Council's traffic experts say the development will make matters worse. The
CPRE ( Council for the Protection of Rural England also made a submission to
The Inquiry then adjourned and will reopen on Wednesday 5th December for
more discussion on traffic issues, Thursday 6th December is the Inspector's
formal site visit, no members of the public allowed and the final day will
be Friday 7th December 2012 for final statements and submissions.
The Inquiry on both 5th and 7th December will be held at the Ramada Jarvis
Hotel, High Street, Loughborough starting at 10/00am.
JELSON APPEAL: GREAT NEWS FOR THE VILLAGE July 2012
We have been surprised, but delighted, by an unexpected turn of events regarding the appeal by Jelson Homes for the refusal of planning permission to build 300 homes on the Breaches, off Melton Road.
The applicant, Jelson Homes, had stated their preference for the appeal to be considered using the most low key procedure available to the Planning Inspectorate which is the consideration of written submissions by all parties, for and against.
Recently, we have received notice that the Inspectorate will consider the appeal using the highest level procedure available which is the Planning (Public) Inquiry. We have no detail of when and where this will be held but can speculate it will be held in Loughborough Town Hall in late Summer or early Autumn. We will let you know.
The reason given for not agreeing to the applicants request for the decision based on written submissions is as follows:
The Planning Inspectorate say '' In our view the extent of local opinion, together with the issues that are likely to arise are best dealt with at an inquiry. This will ensure that all evidence can be thoroughly explored and will enable the Secretary of State to come to a fully informed decision.''
We regard this move to a full planning enquiry, which is against the wishes of the developer, as a major win for this village and those who object to this development proposal. Well Done!
BRAG will be represented at the Inquiry through its consultant at Landmark Planning, Leicester, but this is costly so we are continuing to raise funds to support our cause.
To donate to BRAG, place a donation, cash or cheque, in a sealed envelope marked BRAG and post to Barrow Parish Council offices, High Street, Barrow Upon Soar or via PayPal at www.braguk.com
JELSON APPEAL UPDATE May 28th 2012
To make comments, view appeal documents or to find out more about the appeal follow this link:
To make your views known to the inspector scroll down to the 'Comment on this case' button near the bottom.
The Case Officer is Sarah Hardy
You can call Customer Support Line on 0117 372 63720
You can e-mail your Case Officer at email@example.com
STOP PRESS JELSON APPEAL HAS BEEN RECEIVED May 2nd 2012
You may have heard on the village grapevine that Jelsons have now appealed against refusal of planning permission to develop land off Melton Road/ Breachfield Road.Unfortunately, Jelsons have asked for, and been granted by the Planning Inspectorate, an appeal based on paper submissions alone and not the public hearing that BRAG was hoping for.
However, there is still a great deal that we can do and with this in mind the Parish Council are going to call a parish meeting to which everyone in the village is invited. The meeting will probably be held on Monday, 28th May (date to be confirmed and venue to be arranged). BRAG have been asked to help by leafleting the village to advertise this event because, obviously,it is important that as many people as possible attend.
I know that you have all worked tremendously hard recently getting out the appeal envelopes (which have yielded an astonishing amount of money) and I am now asking for volunteers to get out another leaflet advertising the Parish Meeting and informing the village about the appeal procedure.
If you can help, please contact me as soon as possible and let me know, if possible which area of the village you are prepared leaflet.
Please feel free to disseminate this information as widely as you can.
With every good wish
Sandie ForrestChair: Barrow Residents Action Group
BRAG-AID EVENT on May 26th 2012
Come along to Humphrey Perkins on May 26th for a really fantastic night of entertainment. The evening starts at 8.00. These are some of the things you'll get: live music from The Soundogs; Auction of Promises; Disco; Magician and other entertainers; buffet; raffle.
Tickets will cost £10 for adults and £5 for children. Available from the Paper Shop and The Pet Shop, Babington Rd.
You'll be raising money for the "Beat the Builders' fund" towards fees for professional representation to oppose Jelson Homes at a planning enquiry into their proposal to build 300 houses on land at Melton Road.
LATEST NEWS as at March 15th 2012
Campaign update – March 2012.
It is now anticipated that Jelson Homes will appeal against the decision of Charnwood Borough Council to refuse their application to build 300 houses on land off Melton Road This will result in a Planning Enquiry. Professional representation at the enquiry will cost an estimated amount of £5000 and we are setting that as our target for fund raising with the following events:
1. Saturday, 17th March 2012, 10.00am to 12pm, at Barrow Parish Council offices, High Street. Launch of fund raising events with news and information on both the Jelson Homes application and Barwood Homes application to build 76 houses on land around Strancliffe Hall, Cotes Road. Refreshments available including homemade cakes.
2. April 2012. Beat the Builders' Fund Major fund raising through a leaflet and envelope delivery to all homes in the village. This initiative asks villagers opposed to these developments to donate by cash or cheque using the envelope and posting to Barrow Parish Council offices, as cashiers for BRAG, or on-line via our website and PayPal.
3. Saturday 26th May 2012 BRAGAID at Humphrey Perkins school Hall
An evening of music and dancing with a buffet. Live music and dancing to local band, The Sound Dogs.
4. Sunday 3rd June 2012 Picnic in the Park
This event will be held on the King George playing field and is organised by BUSCA as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. BRAG will have a stall .
Watch this website, village notice boards, notices in the Parish Council office window and local news section of local newspapers for more details.
There is a public meeting arranged for Wednesday 11th January 2012 at the Methodist Church Hall, starting at 7.30pm.
The aim of the meeting is 3 fold:
First, we wish to convey the latest position on the rejected Jelson application, their options and our options.
Second, to discuss further the Strancliffe Hall proposal and ways of making strong objections.
And Third, to convene an AGM of the Barrow Residents Action Group, including election of officers and committee.
We look forward to seeing you there.
STOP PRESS as at 19th Dec: Strancliffe Hall planning application
The closing date for objections to the proposal to build 75 houses on the Strancliffe Hall site has been extended to 3rd January 2012. It is in doubt that this would be heard at planning in January - more probable February or even later. However, you can view the documents on the Charnwood planning portal under application numberP/11/2540/2
Alternatively, go to Leicestershire villages/Barrow Upon Soar, click on planning applications and follow the link using the above number.
A meeting has been arranged for Monday 19th December starting at 7.30pm in the dining hall at Humphrey Perkins School. This is an open meeting for you to put your views forward. Advice will also be given on how to make your individual objections using material considerations.
Further bulletins will be emailed to you on the Jelsons application, which has been refused by Charnwood Planning Committee, as soon as we have more information.
- Archive: STOP PRESS on Dec 7th 2011
- Archive: Planning meeting is on Wed Dec 7th 2011 at 5.00
- Archive: Jelsons have submitted a revised planning application in Sept 2010
- Archive: Update from BRAG: August 2011
- Archive: Update from Brag on Housing Developments June 2nd 2011
- Archive: News as at Jan 30th 2011
- Archive: News as at Jan 15th 2011
- The Barrow Dakota
- Archive news as at 8th November 2010
- Archive as at mid-September
- Archive: News as at August 1st 2010
Last Updated. 14-April-2017 By Keith