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View Comments (1) 4. Sustainable Settlements

25. An important way to achieve the sustainable development of the District is to direct development to appropriate locations. This means identifying settlements which have a basic level of services and facilities to meet residents' everyday needs. Development in these locations will help to avoid the need for unnecessary journeys, thus limiting car usage and carbon emissions and may enhance and protect local services. Section 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that, in order to promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. The approach supports a move to a low carbon economy; one of the other core principles set out at paragraph 17 of the NPPF.

26. We have prepared settlement profiles for each of the towns and larger villages within the District. The aim of this profiling work is to bring together existing information and evidence relating to each settlement in order to understand how it functions, its key characteristics, its level of services and facilities along with any specific local issues and priorities the community may have. Parish Councils were given the opportunity to comment on the draft profiles and their comments incorporated where appropriate.

27. We have used the settlement profiles, together with a comprehensive audit of the services and facilities in each town and village, to classify each settlement into a hierarchy according to its relative sustainability. Settlements at the top of the hierarchy are considered to be the most sustainable. These settlements are therefore the most capable of supporting further development whilst meeting the everyday needs of their residents and thus minimising the need to travel. This approach focuses development to the most sustainable locations; one of the core principles set out at paragraph 17 of the NPPF.

28. Settlements towards the bottom of the hierarchy tend to be smaller, more rural and with very limited services and facilities. These settlements are considered to be relatively unsustainable and therefore either unsuitable or less suitable to accommodate future development, particularly housing.

29. The Leicester Principal Urban Area (LPUA) is a term used across Leicestershire to describe the whole built-up area of Leicester. It covers the Leicester City administrative area and all surrounding built-up areas which are physically joined to it. Within Harborough District, the Leicester Principal Urban Area includes Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby. These settlements form the top of the Harborough settlement hierarchy in recognition of their proximity and relative ease of access to the range of higher order health, education, cultural and retail services and facilities and employment opportunities available within Leicester.

30. Rural Centres are identified within the settlement hierarchy as a focus for rural development, to serve both the settlement itself and the surrounding rural area. Focusing rural development in these villages will help to support existing services and facilities and provide a focal point for use by residents of surrounding smaller villages and hamlets.

31. The resulting settlement hierarchy provides a framework for ensuring sustainable development by specifying an appropriate approach to future development in each layer of the hierarchy. Figure 4 below provides a summary of the settlement hierarchy, including the definition and list of settlements at each layer in the hierarchy, together with a description of the approach to development.

32. This settlement hierarchy has been used as a basis to develop the housing and employment options which follow.

View Comments (29) Harborough's Settlement Hierarchy

View Comments (6) Principal Urban Area (PUA)

Definition

Settlement forms part of the built up area of Leicester

Settlements

Thurnby and Bushby, Scraptoft

Approach to development

Settlement capable of sustaining expansion, infill and re-development at a scale which reflects its level of access to services, facilities and employment opportunities compared with other urban settlements in the District.

View Comments (7) Sub Regional Centre

Definition

Settlement has wide range of retail, service and employment, good road and rail links and performs a sub regional role or equivalent to other centres in the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area.

Settlements

Market Harborough

Approach to development

Settlement capable of sustaining expansion, infill and re-development in proportion to its size compared with other urban settlements in the District.

View Comments (7) Key Centres

Definition

Settlement has a wide range of retail, service and employment and is a significant residential area.

Settlements

Lutterworth, Broughton Astley

Approach to development

Settlements capable of sustaining expansion, infill and re-development in proportion to their size compared with other urban settlements in the District.

View Comments (14) Rural Centres

Definition

Rural Centres are identified on the basis of the presence of least 4 of the 6 key services (food shop, GP surgery, library, post office, primary school and pub) together with a scheduled bus service. Rural Centres are a sustainable location for rural housing and additional employment, retail and community uses to serve the settlement and the surrounding area.

Settlements

Billesdon, Fleckney, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths, Ullesthorpe

Approach to development

Settlements capable of sustaining expansion, infill and re-development to provide a focus for new housing and employment development in rural parts of the District due to their level of services and facilities.

View Comments (16) Selected Rural Villages

Definition

Selected Rural Villages have been identified on the basis of the presence of at least 2 of the 6 key services (food shop, GP surgery, library, post office, primary school and pub).

Settlements

(subject to change, according to service provision)

Bitteswell, Church Langton, Claybrooke Magna, Dunton Bassett, Foxton, Gilmorton, Great Bowden, Great Easton, Hallaton, Lubenham, Medbourne, North Kilworth, South Kilworth, Swinford, Tilton, Tugby

Approach to development

Settlements suitable for rural development of a smaller scale than Rural Centres. Development should be primarily in the form of small-scale infill developments or limited extensions to help address economic, social or community objectives. This could include schemes to enable more social housing, small-scale market housing and development aimed at meeting the needs of local people.

View Comments (7) Sub-Selected Rural Villages

Definition

Sub-Selected Rural Villages have been identified as settlements with at least 1 of the 6 key services (food shop, GP surgery, library, post office, primary school and pub) or a village hall and a minimum of 50 households.

Settlements

(subject to change, according to service provision)

Arnesby, Ashby Magna, Ashby Parva, Bruntingthorpe, Burton Overy, Catthorpe, Claybrooke Parva, Cotesbach, Drayton, East Langton, Frolesworth, Glen Rise, Gumley, Hungarton, Illston on the Hill, Keyham, Leire, Mowsley, Newton Harcourt, Peatling Magna, Peatling Parva, Saddington, Shawell, Shearsby, Smeeton Westerby, Stoughton, Theddingworth, Thorpe Langton, Tur Langton, Walcote, Walton, Willoughby Waterleys.

Approach to development

This is the subject of a specific set of options later on in this paper (please see Countryside Options C1, C2 and C3 at paras 86 -94). Countryside Option 2 includes a proposal to allow housing development in these rural settlements in order to help meet local needs and support existing local services and facilities.

View Comments (7) Other Settlements

Definition

Rural settlements which do not meet the criteria for identification as a sub-SRV due to either their size (i.e. having fewer than 50 households) or due to not having one of the listed services / facilities).

Settlements (subject to change, according to service provision)

Allexton, Bittesby, Blaston, Bringhurst, Carlton Curlieu, Cold Newton, Cranoe, East Norton, Frisby, Gaulby, Glooston, Goadby, Halstead, Horninghold, Kimcote, Kings Norton, Knaptoft, Laughton, Launde, Little Stretton, Loddington. Lowesby, Marefield, Misterton, Nevill Holt, Noseley, Owston, Rolleston, Shangton, Skeffington, Slawston, Stockerston, Stonton Wyville, Welham, West Langton, Westrill and Starmore, Wistow, Withcote.

Approach to development

Settlements considered unsustainable locations for growth. These settlements will be covered by countryside policies. No new residential development will normally be permitted; however, there are circumstances where limited development may be possible through the conversion or subdivision of appropriate buildings. In addition there may be occasions where minor infill or other development that accords with the structure and nature of the existing settlement and has the support of the local community expressed in local evidence (e.g. a rural housing needs survey or neighbourhood plan) may be appropriate.

Figure 4: Settlement Hierarchy for Harborough District

Background Documents:

Settlement profiles

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