Local residents betrayed by Borough council over Big Pit development
Residents living near a proposed development in Hinckley are furious after a Freedom of Information request revealed that Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council objected to there being a public hearing about plans for development on the site.
For many years residents living near the Big Pit water feature, behind Ashby Road in Hinckley have fought attempts to develop on the site.
The latest bid by Orbit housing to build 60 properties on the site was turned down by the Borough Council's planning committee earlier this year. An appeal was submitted by Orbit which the planning inspectorate decided to judge by written submissions only.
Local Lib Dem county councillor for the area Michael Mullaney who submitted the Freedom of Information request, said "I am utterly appalled. Plans to develop on the Big Pit site are incredibly controversial. There are real worries by residents that this is a totally unsuitable site for development due to among other things, flooding risks.
"For the Conservative Borough Council to write to the planning inspectorate and say they did not want a public hearing on this case is a total betrayal of all the local residents concerned by this development. The people living near the Big Pit site have been totally abandoned by this Tory council. They deserved a public inquiry where they could raise their real concerns about this development. The Council even told the Planning Inspectorate that there was little public objection to the application. Residents have been totally betrayed by the Borough Council over this."
Lib Dem opposition leader Councillor Stuart Bray (Hinckley Castle Ward) warned Council officers at the July Planning Committee meeting that the public would expect an Inquiry and they should use their influence to try and ensure that outcome. He has now written to the Council's Chief Executive asking him to examine the Council's handling of the issue. Stuart Bray said "I am demanding answers to whether this response to the Planning Inspectorate was taken by officers alone or if senior Tory Councillors agreed. Either way the public have been badly let down and the Council and public need answers."