Canal enthusiasts fighting plans for a road bridge next to their moorings say alternative sites are available despite council claims.
The Old Union Canal Society want the bridge – planned to link the B6047 with a proposed development of up to 1,500 houses north-west of Harborough – to be moved further north, away from their base on the Grand Union Canal.
They fear putting a bridge next to the moorings, at the back of The Woodlands, will ruin the heritage of the site, which was the original loading wharf for a nearby windmill and later a Victorian boathouse.
During a council meeting to discuss a masterplan for the Airfield Farm site last month, the council told the society that no alternative sites were available.
Cllr Phil King told the meeting that land further north was privately-owned and the landowners were “holding developers to ransom”.
The society leases its moorings from the Canal and Rivers Trust, which has agreed to sell that parcel of land at a reasonable price, the meeting heard.
But in an email to society trustee Carl Bedford, the Market Harborough and the Bowdens Charity confirmed it owns sites north of the society’s moorings.
It confirmed it approached the council over including those sites in its masterplan but that it had received no response.
Mr Bedford said he put these points to the council last week but has also received the silent treatment.
A final decision on the masterplan document – which sets out where up to 1,500 homes will be built on a plot of land stretching from Lubenham Hill to Airfield Farm – is due to be made by full council this Monday night.
Mr Bedford urged the council to look at alternatives before agreeing the location of the bridge.
He said: “We want the council and the developers to at least look at the alternatives.
“If there are technical or legal constraints or the if the price was shown to be wrong then we’re out of the water but none of these things seem to have been looked at, that’s the trouble.”
A spokesman for the district council said yesterday: “The developer has carried out a viability study regarding the bridge and we have asked them to provide more details in light of further information supplied to us.”