General Information


Houses are:

  • Owner occupied
  • Leasehold – mainly Markfield and Willow Courts
  • Local authority – Ashby Road, London Road, Birchfield Avenue, Sawpits Green, Church Drive, Dabey Close, Main Street
  • Housing association – Ashby Road, Jelsons, Coop
  • Private rental

Different types of housing

  • Terraces
  • Flats
  • Bedsits
  • Bungalows
  • Semi detached
  • Detached
  • Park Homes

At the turn of last year, the Midlands Rural Housing “Housing Needs” survey was distributed to 2,498 householders. 641 were returned – a 25% response rate. This survey will help inform H&BC’s 5-year rolling programme for housing allocation

Some of the survey’s findings are as follows:

  • 48% of respondents said they consider that no further homes are needed in the parish. Those that think new homes are required, specified homes for young people and small family homes as a priority.
  • 20% of family members who had left the parish in the last five years cited a lack of affordable housing as the main reason for leaving.
  • 63% of respondents said they would support the building of new homes for local people.
  • Question 23 asked – “Would you move to Markfield if suitable housing was made available?” – 20% said Yes. 80% said No.
  • 58 responses said they will require alternative housing in the next 5 years. Of these, 67% prefer to buy on the open market; 9% prefer to rent privately; 14% would like shared ownership; 44% would be interested in affordable rent.
  • 1,2,3, bedroomed properties are most in demand.
  • 77% think Markfield is a nice place to live; 50% think there is a good community spirit.
  • 57% think Markfield suffers with anti-social behaviour; 58% think there is a lack of facilities in Markfield.
  • The housing Needs survey identified the following needs:
  1. Over the next 5 years (to 2022) up to 24 affordable homes (plus a further 54 needed for those in need on the H&BC housing register) and 28 open market (sale) homes for local people.
  2. The above would be a mixture of house sizes and included some bungalows and a flat

At the time of the last census in 2011 the parish’s population was 4,455 – split almost 50/50 male/female.

The census registered 2,035 households – that’s 463 less than the housing needs survey.  I suspect the housing needs survey also went to some houses at Field Head!!

Since 2011 I think the following houses have been built

Jelsons/Spiby – 146 (thereabouts)

Coop site -7

Thornton Lane/Ratby Lane – 4 or 5

Mayflower Close – 2

The Nook – 2

Back of Main Street – 1

Currently being built or having gained planning permission

Miners Institute – 3

Flying Horse – 13

Old barbers shop main street- 1

Widdowson’s, Ashby road – 6

Back land off Main Street – 1

Old Rectory on the Nook – 5 flats

Indian Fusion – 1 flat

Rights of way

  • The “Leicestershire Round” a circular 100-mile-long footpath passes through the parish
  • The “Ivanhoe Way” – goes over Bardon Hill
  • I don’t know of any bridleways in our parish
  • Paths within the village
  • Pedestrian/cycle conflict
  • Rural ROW – issues with farmers not reinstating them, overhanging vegetation, drainage etc.
  • Access land – just Blacksmiths Field
  • Charnwood Forest – map – specifically produced to publicise the regional park
  • Cliff Hill Light Railway – footpath off Billa Barra Lane follows the route of this old quarry railway
  • Hill Hole and Billa Barra – now publicly accessible
  • Impact of quarrying – diversion of footpaths, noise, loss of mature landscape alongside paths
  • Crossing A511 – a high risk activity
  • National Forest – As a result of their grant aid conditions, many NF funded sites on private land now have public access.
  • Off-road cycle routes – none that I’m aware of.
  • Pollution – the pollution levels are close to the maximum permitted limit. With the huge planned developments between Coalville/Hugglescote and Ellistown a long way from completion and the A511 being one of the principle roads serving it, pollution levels may rise.
  • Crossing the A511 – to get the bus or walk the footpaths on the Bardon Hill side – highly problematic with the only pedestrian lights being at the Flying Horse roundabout
  • I believe the Flying Horse roundabout is going to be replaced by a traffic-light controlled crossroads at some point.

Renewable energy

  • Currently I’m not aware of any wind turbines of any size or solar-farms in the parish.
  • Various domestic and industrial properties have invested in roof mounted solar pv and solar water panels.
  • The largest solar array is on Markfield community centre
  • We had a planning application for a large wind turbine a few years ago. It was refused at appeal.


  • A50 one of the busiest roads in the county
  • Field Head roundabout is working at capacity and may be improved in the next few years.
  • Noise from MI is pronounced across parts of the parish
  • With traffic growth comes the possibility of air pollution rising around M1 Junction 22 and the A50
  • Growth in the Coalville/Hugglescote/Ellistown area will increase traffic flows and possibly also air pollution, on the A511 and the A50
  • Speeding thought villages – Leicester Road and London Road/Forest Road and Thornton Lane/Ratby Lane/Launde Road. MPC sharing speed warning signs with Stanton under Bardon PC. May be a need to consider traffic calming measures on some roads within Markfield village itself
  • Road/pavement repairs – potholes, vehicles parking on pavements may cause damage
  • Road damage due to high summer temperatures – village end of London Road a prime example. Climate change may make this a more regular issue
  • Highway verge maintenance – LCC responsibility – is criticised by some
  • Cleaning of road signs – LCC responsibility – not now done as regularly as it was
  • HGV on Thornton Lane/Raby Lane/Launde Road – linked to distribution depot at Newtown Unthank. Noise from and speed of some HGV’s is an issue.
  • Survival of the 120-bus service
  • Parking by schools – still an issue in Markfield itself – LCC now sends regular video patrol cars round to monitor it.
  • Illegal parking – issues especially on Forest Road and London Road – cars/vans on double yellow lines and uncertain level of enforcement by the LCC
  • Blocking pavements – vehicles partially or in some cases fully parked on pavements and causing obstructions for pedestrians, mobility scooters etc. This seems to be an increasing problem
  • Pedestrians crossing the Coop entrance road – you take you life in your hands!
  • Movement around the village when there’s snow and ice about can be difficult.


  • Although the parish is the home for many commuters, there is a wide range of differing types of employment here
  • Industrial estate at Hill Lane – fully occupied by a wide range of companies. Parking within and adjacent to the estate appears to be a growing problem. Is there a need for the estate to grow?
  • There is a cluster of employment sites around the Flying Horse roundabout -Upton’s, Woods (transport), two garages, a car repair workshop, car sales and a restaurant/takeaway
  • Schools/nurseries employ quite a lot of local residents in a range of capacities
  • Shops/hairdressers /doctors/chemists/hotels/pubs/cafes again employ local residents
  • There are lots of workers who work from home on either a full-time or part-time basis – they don’t tend to be that visible
  • Agriculture – probably employs far fewer people than you’d expect – but with traditional farm incomes under continuing pressure, farmers are looking to diversify – Alpaca walking, outside catering, social activities in unused farm buildings etc.
  • Forestry – with the early National Forest plantations ready for thinning there’s more tree management work to be periodically undertaken. One parish based farmer has diversified into woodland management, but I think a lot of the work may be undertaken by outside contractors.
  • Tourism – Being in both the Charnwood Forest and the National Forest is a potential draw, at least for day visitors. Good access to the motorway network also helps. In terms of accommodation we have the Field Head hotel and the Travel Lodge. Places like the equestrian centre and Ulverscroft Manor plus the Leicestershire Round running through the village also brings visitors in. Agricultural diversification may also drive some tourism growth
  • Quarrying – a local employer both of quarry-based staff and local haulage companies
  • Transport – Woods transport by the Flying Horse roundabout and various small owner-operators working for quarry companies
  • Local builders and associated trades – quite a range of tradesfolk, mainly working for small companies or being self-employed.


  • Broadband – speeds certainly improving
  • Mobile phones – I’m not aware of reception problems
  • Postmen and women – I think we have a good service
  • Local papers – Mercury, The Herald etc.
  • Parish Notice boards – MPC has 2 large ones and 1 small one
  • Websites – MPC and Neighbourhood Plan ones
  • Village Facebook pages
  • Local and motorway road network – good regional and national links
  • Local radio

Facilities and service

The range of service provided within Markfield village is why it is classed, in planning terms, as a “rural centre”.

  • MPC Cemetery and the natural burial ground
  • Schools – Mercenfeld and South Charnwood
  • Doctors – Markfield medical centre – issues about getting appointments
  • Shops – a wide range
  • Pubs – Bulls Head, Queens Head, Coach and Horses, Field Head, Copt Oak
  • Cafes – Brewster’s, the junction 22 service station and Starbucks at the Flying Horse garage
  • Restaurants – Coach and Horses, Field Head, Copt Oak, Indian Fusion
  • Takeaways – chip shop, Balti, Chinese (Main Street), Flying Horse
  • Hotels – Field Head and the Travel Lodge
  • Garages for vehicle repairs – 4 in total
  • Garages with shops – 2
  • Financial advisor – Bradgate finance
  • Community buildings – Markfield Community Centre, Copt Oak village Hall, Shaw Lane WMC, Methodist Church rooms, Congregational Church room, Scout hut.
  • Churches – St Michaels, Methodist, Congregational, a little one near the Flying Horse roundabout
  • Future of the nursing home
  • Bus services

Environment and Open Spaces

  • Markfield is one of the highest villages in the county – sitting on the side of an old volcano
  • Markfield lies within Charnwood Forest. The Forest is recognised nationally as having a unique character and has for hundreds of years drawn visitors to admire its rugged beauty.
  • Charnwood Forest is a “Regional Park” – this isn’t a statutory designation like “National Park”. However, being designated a “Regional Park”, which spans 4 local authority areas, has brought a consistency of planning policy across the forest.
  • Charnwood Forest is the single richest area in Leicestershire for wildlife sites. It also contains some of the world’s oldest known fossils.
  • The parish is also in The National Forest – which is now 25 years old. The creation of the forest has probably brought the one of the biggest changes to the parish’s appearance in the past 170 to 200 years.
  • The National Forest company stopped large-scale planting in our parish between 5 and 7 years ago, since there was a risk that it could have got over-planted to the detriment of its overall appearance.
  • The National Forest Company is now concentrating on helping develop tourism, woodland management, outdoor activities etc.
  • Hill Hole and Billa Barra nature reserves are owned and managed by H&BC. The National Forest company was one of the organisations which helped acquire them for public enjoyment.
  • Markfield PC manages most of the open spaces within Markfield village. It’s currently developing a Community Park on one of the sites.
  • There is one area of “Access Land” – Blacksmiths Field – Altar Stones Lane.
  • There are several areas of common land around the village – some with no registered owner.
  • Although it is set high-up, the village currently blends in very well to its surrounds
  • Markfield is renown for having a unique micro-climate
  • There are long distance views from both Hill Hole and Billa Barra hill.
  • Quarrying continues to impact on the landscape – especially with the Bardon Quarry extension
  • To the best of my knowledge flooding isn’t an issue.
  • The only allotments are to one side of Hill Hole. They are owned and managed by H&BC.
  • Some areas, like Hill Hole, are vulnerable to grass/scrub fires.
  • The water level is Hill Hole continues to fall
  • There is only 1 children’s play area in the parish – Mayflower Close.
  • The older part of Markfield Village is partially covered by a Conservation Area.


  • Historically a small, street village composed of brick and stone houses. Very much focused on local employment – farming, quarrying, knitting etc.
  • Council housing introduced between the wars – “The Intake”
  • Post war a lot of older properties lost on Main Street and Forest Road.
  • More council housing on Main Street, Church Drive and Upland Drive.
  • Mid 1960’s village started to extend down Oakfield Avenue, Neville Drive and Rectory Road
  • Village increasingly become a commuter settlement
  • Old playing field behind the Miner Institute sold for development and a new football pitch behind Oakfield Avenue developed
  • Late 1970’s a new Markfield Local Plan prepared which envisaged the village expanding up to Field Head – pretty well what has happened
  • School moves
  • Land acquired for Altar Stones recreation ground
  • Mayflower Court built.
  • Later the first proposal to extend onto where Jelson’s have developed – never pursued
  • 1980’s Boot Homes on Main Street and Upland Drive demolished. Some of the land used for comb local authority bungalows and some to create the Willow Court sheltered housing complex
  • The village gains a library – later replaced by a permanent building
  • Various bits of small infill development – e.g. off queen Street
  • Factory on Main Street demolished, and land used for housing.
  • Jelson start to develop Spiby’s land
  • Coop redevelopment includes a new supermarket along with social housing.
  • Failed planning application by Taylor Wimpey to develop at Field Head

Issues of particular interest to people from the Shaw Lane and Little Shaw Lane area

  • Traffic noise and speed on the A511 from the Flying Horse roundabout down to the Bardon Roundabout. LCC have recently resurfaced the road but have not used the low noise surfacing the residents thought they were getting – the LCC said it wouldn’t last long enough. The LCC currently won’t consider reducing the speed limit (70 mph over most of that section).
  • The Shaw Lane WMC is owned by CISWO – the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation. I understand that if it weren’t for the couple who promote the Country and Western events, it could well be unused.
  • Bardon Quarry extension
  • Little Shaw Lane apparent anti-social behavior
  • Stanton Lane – down from the Flying Horse roundabout – Upton’s expansion, wood transport, lorries using the flying horse garage
  • Traffic speed round the sharp bend near “Pleasant View” – multiple accidents
  • Copt Oak transmitters
  • Long-term management of Copt Oak village hall
  • The run-down service area restaurant at Junction 22
  • Quarry blasting
  • Billa Barra Hill – owned by H&BC
  • Fly-tipping along Billa Barra Lane
  • Anti-social behavior in the Billa Barra Hill car park