The Quarterly Village Publication produced by Barrow upon Soar Community Association.
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Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.
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11 April 2010

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News

Not since the late 1970’s, when British Gypsum planned to build a plasterboard and bagged plaster plant near Barrow, with 600 lorry movements a day through the village, have Barrow residents shown so much opposition to a planning proposal as they have to this one by Jelson Ltd to build 280 houses on the Breeches. This is the 30 acre field behind Breachfield Road accessed from Melton Road. This is around a 15% increase in the houses in the village.

Although Jelson slipped in their application to Charnwood Borough Council just before last Christmas, perhaps hoping it would be lost in the Christmas and New Year festivities, there has now been a huge outpouring of opposition judged by the number of letters that have appeared on the Borough Council website. For those of you with access to the internet, look at planning application number P/09/2376/2 via Planning Explorer on Charnwood Borough Council’s website.

But opposition has not come from Barrow residents alone. A number of other bodies have raised objections including Network Rail, the East Midlands Regional Assembly, the Council for the Protection of Rural England, the local Civic Trust, Natural England and Leicestershire County Council
( footpaths).

To their credit, Barrow Parish Council organised an open meeting on 6th January to enable them to gauge residents views and how best to represent them. This well attended and well run meeting packed into the Methodist Church hall on North Street and left the Parish Councillors in no doubt on how the village feels on this.

The Parish Council has sent a strong and detailed objection to the plan asking the Borough Council to reject the application. The plan is also opposed by Councillor Hilary Fryer, who represents Barrow on Charnwood Borough Council. Our other Borough Councillor, Pauline Ranson is in an unenviable position because she is a member of the Plans Committee which will consider the application and make a decision, so has kept a low profile, rightly.

BRAG (BARROW RESIDENTS’ ACTION GROUP)

Following a meeting of residents at the Boat House on 24th January, BRAG was formed. Over 60 residents attended this meeting, voiced their concerns and elected a committee. The first task was to agree a spokesperson who would attend the Plans Committee meeting at Charnwood BC and make presentation on behalf of the residents . Only five minutes is allowed for this at the Plans Committee but Trevor Burton stepped forward and BRAG is now working with Trevor to devise his presentation.

So, what will he say, what are the objections? The objections can be made only on defined planning topics known as Material Considerations.

For example, risk of flooding, traffic problems, effect on community facilities, loss of light, but not on what is a very real concern for many which is that the village has too much housing already. Maybe, but surely it has enough !

Below is a statement taken from Jelson’s planning application. What do you think?

“...additional housing should help to maintain and enhance the overall sustainability of the village. This is particularly important in Barrow, given its role as a service centre to surrounding rural communities. Additional population will help to maintain and enhance the range of facilities in the village, contributing to its future as a sustainable rural settlement.”

Well, I have to say that to date that has not been my experience here. The effects of additional housing has been to choke the roads, oversubscribe the schools and reduce the availability of health care in the village . Promises to throw money at the problems for building works is not an answer. There is a requirement for staff and other resources on a continuous basis not just a one-off payment.

If residents have to travel outside the village to place their children in school, have an appointment with a GP or use a supermarket then the proposal is not sustainable.

BRAG will keep the village informed of developments so keep a look out on the notice boards, in the library and the Parish Council offices on the High Street.

BRAG Committee
Chair: Sandie Forrest
Secretary: Kevin Blood
Vice Chair: Alan Willcocks
Telephone: 01509 414894
Treasurer: Vicki Wallin
Email: kevin.blood@talktalk.net
Committee members: David Wilkes, Dawn Cousins, Matt Chivers, Peter Hilsdon, Jenny Volans and Trevor Burton. Alan Willcocks