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Oakham: Developers make first approach to Rutland County Council over 650-home proposal for Barleythorpe

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Developers want to build up to 650 new homes on farmland near Oakham.

De Merke Estates have sent a screening opinion report to Rutland County Council to discover if an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed before a formal planning application is lodged.

The proposed development would be for up to 650 houses, as well as public open space and land for community use, on a 113-acre site to the west of Main Road, Barleythorpe.

The 113-acre site is outlined in red. Photo: Barton Willmore
The 113-acre site is outlined in red. Photo: Barton Willmore

The site would border Manor Lane to the south as well as Oakham United FC’s home ground and the Kings Centre, with farmland to the west and north.

Applications have been made for several large-scale developments in Rutland in recent months, following on from the county council's withdrawal of its proposed Local Plan last September.

In March, developer Bowbridge Land Ltd submitted a formal planning application for 150 homes in Barleythorpe.

In the same month, plans were lodged for up to 213 homes for a site off Burley Road, in Oakham, and this week an application was put in for a 93-home development in Cottesmore.

A screening report, commissioned by Leicester-based De Merke Estates concluded that ‘significant effects on the environment are not considered likely either alone or in combination with other development’, and any effects could be managed.

It said a travel plan would be added to a future application, with initiatives to encourage future residents, employees and visitors to the development to use sustainable travel.

A public notice of the screening report attracted 58 responses.

Among them was Ste Rumbelow, of Tollesbury Avenue, Barleythorpe, who said: “To suggest that a development of this size won’t have an impact on Oakham is frankly ridiculous.

“Traffic in Oakham has already increased drastically over the past few years and infrastructure struggles to cope.”

Mark Taylor, of Wheatfield Way, Barleythorpe, added: “I think it’s vitally important that the right assessments are made at this stage or risk serious harm of pollution or disturbance of wildlife.”

Justine Copas, of Tay Close, Oakham, said : “Until Oakham has the ability to provide local services for the existing population an estate of this size is a ludicrous idea.”

While Janie Johnson-Crossfield, of Ashwell Road, Oakham, said the impact would be ‘enormous’ and equate to a ‘10 per cent increase’ in the town’s size.

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