Posted onJune 14, 2016
Plans for a food village and visitor centre on the outskirts of the city could be given the green light this week.
Blaby District Council is expected to back plans for a major complex on land between Soar Valley Way and the police headquarters in Enderby, which would include a brewery, units for food and drinks companies, restaurants, parking and sports facilities.
The plans also include opening up the River Soar flood plain at the rear of the development to more cyclists and walkers, with a new footbridge across the river.
The £25 million scheme on a greenfield site has been submitted by Everards, which wants to relocate from its existing brewery on the edge of nearby Fosse Park.
The brewery hopes to find tenants among some of Leicestershire’s other successful food manufacturers and make the most of the county’s reputation in the sector.
Due to the scale of the site and the fact it is outside the brief of the Blaby district long-term planning framework, the council is set to refer it for Government consideration.
Should the Secretary of State decide not to intervene, planning officers are recommending the development goes ahead subject to certain conditions.
Everards managing director Stephen Gould said: “We have been liaising with Blaby District Council over several months and the application is now being considered.
“It’s been a very open process and we have consulted very widely and we are awaiting the outcome.”
As part of the consultation, Enderby Parish Council said: “We approve of the application in the belief a visitor attraction will be beneficial for Enderby village and the surrounding area.”
However, Braunstone Town Council said there were concerns that extra traffic created roads could add to congestion and air pollution.
It also raised concerns about the loss of 12 acres of green wedge land.
While generally welcoming the plans, Glen Parva Parish Council said it was worried about extra traffic around Fosse Park and in Soar Valley Way, especially when 4,250 homes are built in Lubbes- thorpe.
An initial objection by the Environment Agency on the grounds that the site could be hit by flooding has been lifted.
Blaby District Council’s planning brief said: “The application includes measures to mitigate the impact of the development on the green wedge.
“The application includes significant improvements to public access and the use by the public of the site and the adjacent land owned by the applicant.
“The links to the public footpath network and the national cycle network, which would be delivered as part of the development, are considered to be of overall public benefit.
“All these elements would retain and create green networks between the countryside and open spaces within the urban areas and retain and enhance public access to the green wedge, especially for recreation.”
Martin Peters, managing director of Leicester Shire Promotions, the agency charged with attracting tourists to the county, said he believed it would enhance the county’s attractiveness to visitors.
He said: “We started the ball rolling a couple of years ago with the Rural Capital of Food brand in Melton and that is proving a really popular tool.
“What we have now is a great opportunity to spread that reputation.”