Garden Village Status awarded in Blaby District

Blaby District Council is one of only 19 local authorities in the country to have been granted Garden Village status by the government for a potential future site.

The Council strongly believes that the responsibility to support existing communities and plan for future growth is something it should be taking the lead on. The announcement follows the Council’s adoption of the brand new Blaby Growth Plan, which sets out six key principles to guide future development in the district. This plan shows a strong continued commitment to pro-active planning, which has already been recognised with three awards at New Lubbesthorpe.

Across the country, local authorities face the challenge of having to provide large numbers of additional homes over coming decades. The Council strongly believes that the best way to do this is through the development of larger-scale sustainable sites which will prevent existing communities losing their sense of identity.

Whetstone Pastures, a proposed development in the south-east of the district, will receive Garden Village status following a submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and local Government (MHCLG) last year.

There is no planning permission on the site currently. It will now be formally considered alongside all other sites put forward for consideration as part of the Council’s work on the next Local Plan. None of the sites identified will receive planning permission until they have gone through the proper planning process.
A public consultation on all of the local sites identified as part of work on the new Local Plan will take place later this year.

The granting of Garden Village status secures government funding which enables the Council to take control and ensure a great place to live, work and visit for future generations.

Garden Villages are a government initiative for proposed developments of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. The status ensures that any site has a mixture of housing and housing types with the aim of creating vibrant, diverse and affordable communities.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “The award of this funding is great news and nothing for residents to be concerned about.
“What it does mean is that should planning permission for a garden village be given, we will have had the opportunity to properly plan for it, building on the success of New Lubbesthorpe.

“This government support is recognition that Blaby have shown an ability to deliver well, and will enable us to be on the front foot in shaping any future community, whilst protecting existing towns and villages.”

Updates and information about Whetstone Pastures will be available on the Blaby District Council website.

Car park amendments approved

Free parking bays in Narborough car parks have been approved by Blaby District Council after Councillors agreed new parking plans.

Two free twenty-minute spaces in Leicester Road and one twenty-minute space in the Narborough Station car park will be introduced from September, following feedback from residents and local businesses.

The changes are part of a number of amendments to car parks in the district that were given the go ahead following a Full Council meeting on Tuesday. These include:

  • Increasing the maximum time to park at Leicester Road car park from two to three hours
  • Making the Grange Car Park in Narborough residents only, with a view to the Grange becoming residential properties
  • Parking restrictions for staff and visitors in the Council’s office car parks

Seven car parks will also be removed from the Council’s Car Park Order following the transfer to Parish Councils in Countesthorpe, Stoney Stanton, Croft, Enderby and Whetstone. A transfer in Kirby Muxloe is also underway.

In Glenfield, the introduction of charges at Stamford Street and Station Road car parks, starting at 30p for two hours will come into force in September in line with the charges in Blaby and Narborough. Free twenty-minute parking bays will be available in each car park.

The Council has been looking to transfer both Glenfield car parks to other parties, including the Parish Council and the local school. Negotiations are also ongoing with an interested party for the sale of the car parks. If an agreement is not reached by the autumn the charges will be introduced.

Councillor Sharon Coe, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Regulatory Services, said: “Since charges were amended in Narborough in 2017 we have listened to residents and spoken to businesses to make sure that our car parks can be sustainable financially for both the Council and car park users.

“Car parks are an important part of our villages and for local residents and businesses. We are continuing to ensure car parks become a cost neutral service so the taxpayer will no longer face the burden to run this service.”

A consultation will begin on Friday 28 June with the information available on the Consultations page of the BDC website.

Council wins New Lubbesthorpe award

Blaby District Council has won an award at the Insider Media Residential Property Awards for its work to give people training and opportunities in the construction industry.

Named Best Skills and Training Scheme at the awards ceremony, the Council was recognised for the Building Blaby Futures scheme, which has been running at the New Lubbesthorpe development since 2017.

The scheme is funded by the Section 106 agreement for the New Lubbesthorpe development and the landowners Drummond Estates. Work has included presenting to over 170 female students at workshops to encourage them to consider the construction industry as a career path. These workshops – taking place in local schools – have been presented by female ambassadors.

Work experience placements for both adults and college students have been arranged with housebuilders and construction partners. 268 local people have benefitted from the employment, skills and training pilot, including 30 jobs for long term unemployed people. Three sites visits were arranged for 34 young people and 10 apprenticeships have been undertaken.

After the success of the scheme at New Lubbesthorpe, the expansion of Fosse Park is also planned as a site for people to learn and gain valuable work-place knowledge.

Councillor Sharon Coe, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Regulatory Services, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this award and receive recognition for out team’s efforts to give a variety of people – from students to ex-offenders – the chance to gain valuable work experience and training.”

“New Lubbesthorpe is a major development in this district, and we have worked hard to ensure that the enormous opportunities available during the construction of our new community have been maximised.

“We particularly want to thank our partners, including the Drummond Estate, for their continuing support on a scheme which is making such a positive difference for residents of the district.”

Any businesses or local schools interested in getting involved with Building Blaby Futures can visit the webpage.

Achievement Awards nominations open

Residents are being urged to nominate their inspirational local heroes and community groups with the launch of Blaby District Council’s Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Now in their sixteenth year, friends, family and workmates can put forward individuals and groups who they think deserve recognition for making a difference in their community. Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 11 August 2019 and can be submitted in one of four categories:

  • Good Friend/Good Neighbour – Sponsored by Aggregate Industries
  • Volunteer of the Year – Sponsored by Leicester Marriott Hotel
  • Young Achiever of the Year – Sponsored by Ford & Slater
  • Best Community Group/Achievement – Sponsored by Fosse

Finalists and their guests will be invited to the prestigious evening ceremony at the Marriott Hotel on Thursday 03 October, which celebrates and honours all of the finalists. £750 of prize money will be available in each category.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “We are now in our sixteenth year of these awards, and we are so proud to hold them to recognise the inspirational people who continue to make this district a great place to live, work and visit.

“Our thanks go to our sponsors who have helped to ensure these awards are possible. I look forward to reading the nominations and encourage everyone to put forward the person or group they think deserves to be recognised before the deadline.”

For more information on each category and to nominate visit the Achievement Awards webpage.