Naseby Square demolition
Update 17th February 2021
Last night’s re-convened Planning Committee meeting voted 8:1 in favour of the development. We knew we would fail to change the ruling parties strangle-hold.
However they did acknowledge that the process had some flaws in it! Platform got several comments about their bad treatment of their tenants, whilst HDC the initiator came out almost without blemish - in spite of their duplicity and complicity - and very pleased to be going ahead with a nice little earner of hard needed finance to help fill the £12 million gap in their finances. The out-standing Councillor of the night was Peter James who fully comprehended the case we were able to put up and challenged HDC officers accordingly. Unfortunately the responses to him were not all as transparent. Suffice to say that the ruling party had one objective, and that was to stop us from derailing their plan.
However, two of our ward councillors had raised issues that might just improve this development if conditional items are dealt with. The main one being that tenants who had been moved out should be offered the chance to come back into one of the bungalows that had been included in the new revision. It was also mentioned that their rents should be at the same level as they had when in the square! One tenant moved elsewhere is apparently already suffering from financial problems!
An officer of the Platform group also implied that I was a liar because he said that it wasn’t true that the community hall had a full programme of events before the take-over from 7 Locks.
We now wait to see if an Internal Inquiry will now be set up and the process reviewed. I wanted an external inquiry but previous experience of asking HDC’s joint CEOs came to nothing.
We can but pray that the opposition leaders request for an inquiry will bear fruit.
Please thank all members of CTH who have upheld us in their prayers. It has been good to feel upheld during the past 33 months. I look forward to being far less busy for a while to enjoy a break - unless of course something more miraculous occurs!
Update 7th November 2020
HDC have sold their lands to the Platform Housing Group.
This thus suggests that apart from a slight revision to the development proposals we can expect a new Planning Application to go in for February 2021. There can be no way that HDC will have done anything other than guarantee Planning Consent will be granted due to the Conservative group having the overwhelming control of the Council.
You can read more about this, what it will mean for the remaining residents, and what we can do about it here: Naseby Square Update 7th Nov 2020.
Prayers are needed as well as a further lobbying against the development. We have discovered that the initial concept for the development included clearing the way for a future development incorporating the remaining homes on the Naseby Square site. Thus the remaining tenants may find themselves being removed as the reasons for demolishing 1950s and 1980s buildings were due to being old and not up to date.
You only have to visit people on the Square to see how totally untrue that is. The blocks of 1980s buildings and the Community Hall and Wardens Office and the small Communal Lounge well and truly refute that statement.
I think the only way forward is to create as much back-lash as possible so that we can deliver our petitions to both HDC and Platform prior to the Planning Committee in February.
I sincerely hope that you are all keeping well, and that we manage to at least arouse a good number of folk to put in their objections by the beginning of February.
Update September 21st 2020
This is a precis of a longer press piece that Dave Tomlin and the campaign group have released in the last couple of weeks. The background to the campaign is well known locally, but there was an article in the Harborough Mail on 15th September - New twist in the tale of a controversial housing development in Harborough - it looks like HDC has ‘agreed in principle’ to explore the selling of the HDC owned land off to Platform, the Midlands Housing Group who own the rest of the site. Hence the new/updated release from the group: Naseby Square Social & Sheltered Housing Complex – Update September 21st 2020.
You can also read more and sign the petition here: Battle for Naseby Square 2020.