Cork Lane public inquiry decision released

Cork Lane I

The Planning Inspectorate, a Government appointed organisation, has made its decision in relation to Blaby District Council’s refusal of an application to build homes off Cork Lane, Glen Parva.

Following a public inquiry into the refusal decision, made in May 2022, the Planning Inspector (PI) has granted reserved matters approval for the scheme.

It means developers Glen Parva JV LLP can progress to the next stage of the process. This involves submitting a further application to the Council to explain exactly how they will address the risks associated with contamination of the site due to its previous use as landfill.

This is required before any work can start on the building of up to 165 homes on the 12.5 hectare plot, a former brickworks and clay pit-turned landfill site. This is important in ensuring robust remediation and mitigation works against risks from landfill gas, particularly methane.

When we receive this application it will be carefully considered to ensure the developer can take the steps needed to address any threats posed to future occupants and residents in the area. If the Council is not satisfied, we can refuse the application and the development may not proceed.

The appeal dates back to 2016 when outline planning permission was given to the original application to build up to 165 homes on land off Cork Lane, Glen Parva.

A reserved matters application was received by the Council in 2019 for the approval of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development on this former landfill site.

In the reserved matters application, the developer made changes to the originally agreed approach to contamination.

Concerned that this new approach may not be sufficient to eliminate risks from landfill gas, Council officers recommended refusal and at committee the application was denied.

Glen Parva JV LLP appealed this decision and a public inquiry was held last November.

During the run-up to the inquiry, new evidence was put forward by contamination experts from both sides.

This led to both parties agreeing in principle that the site could be remediated satisfactorily. Steps would include installing an underground protective gas curtain wall, increasing the depth of the capping layer and further monitoring.

The PI agreed with this new approach and in his decision letter Mr Darren Hendley wrote:

"I conclude that the proposal would not have an unacceptable effect on the public health of the future occupiers of the proposal and the occupiers of nearby residential properties by way of land contamination."

Councillor Ben Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Planning Delivery and Enforcement and Corporate Transformation said:

"This is a very complex issue and a very complicated site given its history and the potential risks its development poses.

"This appeal decision is just one step in a long process to ensure any development on this site is carried out in a manner which protects future and existing residents.

"On the new advice of experts and after changes to the development layout were made, common ground has been reached on the ability to remediate the site. However, it remains that as a Council we must be wholly satisfied any remediation plan is sufficient to ensure householders' safety."

Glen Parva JV LLP made a claim for costs against the Council, which was refused. The Planning Inspector concluded that the Council had been reasonable in taking the land contamination data submitted in the reserved matters application into account when coming to its decision. He determined the Council’s actions had not caused procedural unfairness to the developer.

The planning inspectorate's appeal decision letter and background documents on the appeal can be viewed online: Search for Applications ( using ref. 15/0176/OUT

Councillor Ben Taylor

Councillor Ben Taylor
Portfolio Holder for Planning Delivery and Enforcement and Corporate Transformation

12 January 2023