Opposition mounts to proposed housebuilding on more than 80 green spaces in Leicester

There has been a swell of opposition against proposals that could see dozens of greenfield sites across Leicester given over to new homes.

Space for around 29,000 new homes will be needed in the city over the next 16 years, according to planners who are drawing up a strategy to try to find enough land for them.

The council has listed more than 80 potential housing sites – ranging from sections of parks and school playgrounds to huge open greenfield areas.

They have been included in a draft Local Plan on which the council has just completed the latest of a series of public consultations.

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The council’s planning director Grant Butterworth said there had been a ‘substantial’ response from people who oppose the development, which includes 921 comments about the various sites and petitions totalling 4,000 names.

He said the plan had not been finalised and would be the subject of a public consultation next year.

Even after that, planning permission would still be needed by any housebuilder for any individual development.

Under the plans, nearly 5,000 more homes would be built in the city centre.

There are five so-called strategic sites – the Western Park Golf Course, Ashton Green at Beaumont Leys, to the north of the A46, west of Anstey Lane and on part of the Leicester General Hospital site.

These will take a large number of homes but other smaller parcels of land could be developed and neighbouring districts will be asked to take a share of the homes target within their own boundaries.

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillor Nigel Porter, who represents Aylestone said: “People are quite rightly up in arms by the fact that the council is going round suggesting their precious nearby green spaces should be concreted over.

“Obviously there have to be some houses because the population grows but this plan needs putting in the bin.”

Rushey Mead residents are concerned that former allotments in Lanesborough Road are earmarked for 44 homes.

A spokesman for the group told LeicestershireLive: “We are deeply worried about it because we don’t want to lose that space.

“It is a valuable community asset.

“It is an area of wildlife and there are not many of those around here.”

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