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Medieval village stands in the way of business park expansion

Planners are meeting tonight in a hangar at an airfield in Leicestershire to consider controversial plans to expand Magna Park near Lutterworth. Developers IDI Gazeley want to build a one million square foot warehouse for DHL. It would create 1,000 jobs.

1,000
Jobs would be created by expansion
Map showing Magna Park and Lutterowrth Credit: ITV News

The application was approved by Harborough District Council in January. But officials decided to reconsider for legal reasons when it was discovered the development was near the village of Bittesby - a deserted medieval village

1279
Bittesby contained 25 families

lt was listed in the Doomsday Book and in 1279 records show it was made up of 25 families. But by 1536 only one family remain. The village is regarded as a Ancient Monument. Historic England say the reasons for people leaving villages like Bittesby are varied but include economic reasons, like the enclosure of land, and population fluctuations caused by epidemics.

The village will be preserved but protesters say the development - and two other large proposals nearby - could impact on the local area. They worry about traffic and air pollution. Magna Park close to the M1 and M6 is already Europe's largest business park.

6.30pm
Meeting at Hangar 42, Bruntingthorpe

The proposals will be discussed this evening at 6.30pm at Hangar 42, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Aerodrome, Bath Lane, Bruntingthorpe, near Lutterworth.