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Postbag on Melton Road housing

We asked for your views on the proposal by Jelson to build a large new housing development off Melton/Breachfield Road. Here are your concerns about the Barrow of the future:

Keep Barrow special

Firstly I would like to say how refreshing it is for the Barrow Voice to actually ask the opinions of the residents of Barrow about the new Jelson Proposal. The Miller/Wilson Developments off Cotes Road are yet to be complete and sold, yet we propose swamping the village with more houses.

My fears are that the villages spoke loud and clear about their disapproval of the Cotes Road development and yet the only voices that were heard were the ones whose pockets the development lined. Unfortunately I think that Barrow’s problems will only escalate from now on.

It seems no one has noticed that getting in and out of the village is hard enough as it is (especially at the first signs of floods), how can we actually justify allowing more traffic in this area with just a few traffic calming measures these new developments give us in return.

It just does not have the infrastructure to allow this to work. Then there is the health centre, the schools - how will they cope?

How the parish council can merely ask for updates is yet more of a mystery - doesn’t anyone want to save the things that make Barrow special - the reasons they spent money moving here? Surely if we wanted to live in a town we’d be living in Loughborough - Save our VILLAGE and please everyone say no!

I am conscious of the need for further development within the Charnwood Borough area as the council has to meet housing development targets set by our current government, but surely not further development in Barrow?
Name and address withheld

I love this village

I have lived in the village for almost six years now and having lived in a number of areas within Leicestershire, including Oadby and Great Glen, must admit that I love this village and have never felt so welcome around any other part of the county.

The sense of community spirit is rife here, I am always plugging this village to my friends whenever they are looking to move, but I feel that further development in the region of 1000 further residents would just wreck this village as it would turn into a small town.

The strain on the village would be too much. Where would all the kids go to school? Our classes are already full and I can’t see there being room to develop Hall Orchard primary school, nor would you want to!

The medical centre would need further development. I have stood outside the practice with many other villagers in the morning awaiting an appointment to see the GP, the line reaching the Somerfield car park at times. With a further 1000 people living here I suspect the line of people might well reach the High Street!

Traffic congestion would be horrendous, especially in the winter months with the flooding along Slash Lane. We all know that we have to leave extra early to go to work in the winter, but imagine the traffic nightmare we would all have to live with if each new household had one car, let alone two which the many residents here have access to.

It worries me that one day we will pick up a copy of the Barrow Voice to find an article asking residents to come up with a new name for our village now that we are amalgamated with Sileby! An identity crisis, you’re not wrong!
Jim Costelloe
More problems on the way

This village is already over populated / over developed by private dwellings.

When I came to live in Barrow, it was a lovely small village but now there are so many problems i.e. the health centre cannot cope at the moment so what it will be like if the village is expanded I have no idea. There are more problems with youths these days and it is pretty certain drug dealing is happening. The police are trying to be ever more present in the village because of this.

Traffic is horrendous, especially along the High Street and the pedestrian crossings are more than useless. Many drivers just ignore them and on more than one occasion I have been on the crossing and the driver just continues through the village without stopping. I am just as safe crossing where I like.

Vehicles are parked along the High Street, especially near the newsagent and cash machine. More people will mean more problems within the village.
Name and address withheld
Village not town
I was disgusted to learn that yet another 280+ proposed houses are to be built by Jelson on a site adjacent to Melton/Breachfield Road and it appears that the local council are yet again prepared only to put up very limited opposition. We were led to believe that the Wilson/Miller homes development off Cotes Road was to be the last for the foreseeable future, how can Barrow sustain such growth and still keep its village identity?

All these new developments are putting added pressure on the already overrun schools and health centre, not to mention the traffic problems it will cause especially in the village centre where extra traffic is already causing problems particularly at rush hour some of which is caused by traffic using the village as a rat run.

Perhaps this council will not be content until this village reflects the name of its football club Barrow Town.
Name and Address Withheld
Environmental threat
I was dismayed by the news from September’s Barrow Voice (and also the local newspapers) that Jelson is planning a major housing development. This is of concern, not only to residents of Breachfield Road in particular, but also (I assume) to other nearby residents, the Health Centre, the Schools etc. However, I am also especially alarmed by the likely further deterioration to the environment and amenities around.

In 1985 when my wife and I moved into Breachfield Road after choosing the house and area as an ideal place to start and raise a family, Fishpool Brook was full of fish - ten and three spined sticklebacks, Millers Thumbs (Bullheads) etc and all the aquatic life associated with a very healthy brook.

With such a well-stocked, healthy brook there were frequent visits by aquatic birds, including heron and the iridescent blue/green kingfisher. The area was obviously enjoyed immensely by adults and children alike - especially in the summer, when many parents would bring their young children with fishing nets to catch some of the many fish.

All was well until the Fishpool Way housing development was constructed in the 1990s. At this time the foul sewer pipe from the development was connected into the main sewer system at the parkland end of Breachfield Road. Where the new sewer pipe necessarily crossed the Fishpool Brook, it was positioned only just below the bed of the brook and capped by visible, rough, ugly concrete.

Over time, the flow of the brook has eroded the much softer earth bank to the side of the concrete capping and has now resulted in an exposed to water, plastic foul sewer pipe and an exposed to air, rough concrete capping (ie a real eyesore).

A few years after the completion of the Fishpool Way development, workers for the Environment Agency (I assume) were seen to be engaged in clearing out the Fishpool Brook. This work damaged the health of the brook to such an extent that all fish, except a paltry few ten spined Sticklebacks, disappeared.

It should also be noted that the ‘dredging’ of the brook has now become an annual event - presumably on the assumption that it is now merely a ‘storm drain’. Oh, and of course, the Herons and Kingfishers never returned.

Do we really want to allow yet another big housing development in what is a lovely rural landscape? And in a village that already has horrendous traffic problems? I for one say ‘No’! Richard Mabbutt
See the ‘Barrow Focus’ pages for news from the Parish Council on this issue.

We do not publish anonymous letters. Please provide your name and address with correspondence and indicate clearly if you wish these to be withheld. We reserve the right to edit letters.
The Editor.