Charnwood borough deals with Leicester housing overspill

Thousands of homes are being built in a Leicestershire borough to deal with demand for housing in the city of Leicester.

Charnwood Borough Council said up to 6,000 homes had to be built within its boundary to deal with the overspill.

Some campaigners have criticised the plans, which they say threaten the countryside.

The city council said it had to find space in nearby districts as it had limited land available.

David Slater, leader of the borough council, said: "The requirement for housing in the city of Leicester cannot be accommodated within the city of Leicester, so the boroughs around it have a duty to provide houses for their needs.

"For us in Charnwood it's something like over 5,000, getting on for 6,000, houses that we have to provide simply to cater for Leicester's overspill."

A city council spokesman said: "The city has limited land available for new housing owing to its constrained boundaries and therefore any additional development serving the whole of the Greater Leicester urban area has to be found on greenfield sites in adjoining districts.

"The city council's current housing strategy to deliver around 22,000 homes by 2026 is based mainly on brownfield land development.

"This will account for around 60-70% of new homes and the balance will be delivered on other sites, the largest of which is the Ashton Green urban extension."

Campaign groups from the Shepshed, Loughborough, Thurmaston and Birstall areas have criticised the plans, as they say important greenbelt would be lost and local services overwhelmed.

Linda Needham, who chairs the Garendon Park & Countryside Protection Group, said the housing plans were "ludicrous" and would destroy important heritage sites in Leicestershire.

The strategy will now be reviewed by government inspectors who could suggest amendments before sending it back to the council for final approval next year.

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