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Protesters take to the streets over new homes development

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

Ashby Housing protestors, High Street..Peter Bourne, Lorna Titley, Michael Ball, Bob Heller

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PROTESTERS have been collecting signatures for a petition opposing plans to build 130 houses and a health centre.

Plans develop land north of Ashby, known as Money Hill, have been unanimously rejected during a meeting of Ashby Town Council’s planning and transportation committee.

Members of the public, along with representatives from Nottingham Road and Wood Street Action Group (NoRAG), spoke out against the proposal, put forward by a consortium made up of applicants. Objections included concerns about increased traffic, both along Nottingham Road and Woodcock Way. Doubts were raised about the safety of the proposed access to the development through Woodcock Way, the entrance to which is on a blind bend and opposite Ashby School.

The location of the proposed development was described by councillors as “inappropriate”, and they agreed with the concerns. Unease was also expressed about inadequate primary school provision with one school planned during phase two which outlines an eventual 600 homes.

Mike Ball, NoRAG founder, said: “Clearly we’re all absolutely delighted that the town council has responded to the views of local people and rejected this proposal.

“We are hoping our views, and those of Ashby Town Council, will be heard by North West Leicestershire District Council as it considers this proposal.”

NoRAG held an awareness-raising event outside Boots, in Market Street, Ashby, on Saturday to encourage residents to sign the petition and send letters of objection.

A spokesman for the consortium said: “The proposed improvement includes the widening of Nottingham Road to accommodate a new right-turn filter into Woodcock Way. To address safety concerns about Nottingham Road and the proposed junction, a number of measures will be introduced to slow traffic down. Separate pedestrian and cycle links to the town centre are also planned along with a bus route.

In response to requests, a landscaped buffer area will be enhanced with a mixture of trees and shrubs to minimise the impact of the new houses on existing residential areas. As part of this, improvements and further landscaping will be made to the existing National Trail route of Ivanhoe Way for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

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