Shenton Lane Inquiry
On 4 April 2023 the Parish Council was notified that a planning application submitted by Gladman Developments Ltd for development of land on Shenton Lane for up to 125 dwellings had gone to Appeal and that an Appeal Inquiry had been scheduled to take place at the Hinckley Hub over an anticipated 6 days commencing on 25 July 2023.
The planning application was originally submitted to the local planning authority, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) for consideration in 2022. The application was not determined - either approved or refused - by HBBC by its target deadline, therefore Gladman Developments Ltd took the application to the Planning Inspectorate for determination by Appeal instead. The Appeal reference is APP/K2420/W/23/3317090.
On 13 April 2023 the Parish Council applied to the Planning Inspectorate for Rule 6 party status to enable an active role at the Inquiry. Rule 6 party status was granted the same day.
Gladman Developments issued many documents relating to their Appeal. Principle documents are Gladman's 'Statement of Case' in which their arguments for approval of the planning application are laid out, and their 'Statement of Common Ground' with HBBC and the Parish Council.
Gladman Developments Ltd's Statement of Case (PDF, 269 Kb)
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council's role as the Local Planning Authority
As the Local Planning Authority, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) attended the Appeal Inquiry commencing 25 July 2023. HBBC submitted documents to the Planning Inspectorate in response to Gladman Development's Statement of Case. All documents relating to the planning application and Appeal can be viewed on HBBC's website.
HBBC's documents include a Statement of Case prepared by Leicestershire County Council as the Local Highway Authority, as well as their own Statement of Case.
The Parish Council's role
As a Rule 6 party, the Parish Council also had to prepare a Statement of Case.
The Statement of Case was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 11 May 2023 along with the Parish Council's supporting documents which are all shown below:
Market Bosworth Parish Council - Statement of Case (PDF, 431 Kb)
Market Bosworth Design Codes (PDF, 7.7 Mb)
Market Bosworth Landscape Review (PDF, 6.1 Mb)
Market Bosworth Tree and Hedgerow Survey (PDF, 8.8 Mb)
Market Bosworth Housing Needs Assessment (PDF, 1.3 Mb)
Housing Needs of Market Bosworth - survey by HBBC (PDF, 477 Kb)
Market Bosworth HNA 2020 (PDF, 755 Kb)
Assets of Local Heritage Value (PDF, 1.8 Mb)
To support its role as a Rule 6 Party, the Parish Council resolved at an Extraordinary Meeting on 2 May 2023 to appoint a barrister to assist with the initial two stages of the Appeal Inquiry: preparation of the Parish Council's Statement of Case, deadline 11 May 2023 and to attend the Case Conference on 25 May 2023.
The Parish Council recognised that it would be enormously beneficial to appoint a barrister for the actual Inquiry itself. The barrister would put forward the Parish Council's objections, stressing the local viewpoint, and would respond to questions from Gladman's barrister in a more confident manner than Councillors or the Clerk may be able. However, the cost of appointing a barrister was prohibitive.
The Parish Council was fortunate in that, due to the strength of community feeling against this planning application, a crowdfunding site was set up to raise funds to contribute to the Parish Council to fund the costs of appointing a barrister. The crowdfunding site was set up by a group called Market Bosworth Community in Action and an incredible £21,000 was donated to the Parish Council towards legal costs. The Parish Council was hugely grateful to all those in the community who contributed and demonstrated such enthusiastic and affirming support for the work of the Parish Council in the Appeal Inquiry.
Outcome of the Inquiry - Appeal Rejected!
The Parish Council learnt on 17 August 2023 that the Appeal by Gladman Developments Ltd against the non-determination of the planning application has been dismissed and the planning application has been refused.
The Parish Council is surprised and delighted that this decision has been reached so quickly by the Planning Inspector. It is excellent news.
Thank you to everyone who helped by supporting the funding campaign, sending objections, delivering leaflets, attending the Inquiry and contributing in any other way to support the fight against this speculative development. The way the community came together to fight the proposal shows what a great community we have.
Thanks are also due to the 'professionals' who guided the Parish Council through the Appeal process and represented us at the Inquiry, including the Borough Council's Case Officer, Mr Tim Hartley, and, of course, our Barrister, Mr Simon Bell of Clerksroom Chambers, without whom we could not have participated in the Inquiry. From his appointment in April, through to his Closing Statement on the final day of the Inquiry, Mr Bell was always approachable and available to offer advice and support through the legalities of what was a huge learning curve for the Parish Council representatives. We are grateful that the Community in Action group effectively enabled his appointment.