Controversial housing plans backed

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Controversial plans to build 150 new homes and a community hall have been backed – despite fierce opposition.

Central Beds Council’s executive committee adopted the plans for Biggleswade Road in Potton as technical guidance at a meeting on Tuesday (October 2).

An application to build at least 150 homes and a new hall on the 7.4 hectare site can now be submitted for planning approval after councillors agreed to back the proposals.

But Central Beds Councillors representing Potton and Biggleswade claimed that the two towns would struggle to cope.

Biggleswade ward Councillor Jane Lawrence, who also sits on the town council, warned that nearby roads would suffer due to the extra traffic.

She said: “People need to realise that this affects Biggleswade as much as Potton as the road becomes Potton Road, Biggleswade.

“I don’t think that the road would be suitable for that many extra vehicles and the roads in Biggleswade itself would be affected, especially the Biggleswade north roundabout on the A1 which gets very busy.”

Potton ward Councillor Adam Zerny added: “There is wildlife at the site, including lizards which if the development went ahead would have to be moved elsewhere.

“Another issue is health care places. It is hard enough getting an appointment at the doctor’s surgery as it is.

“I don’t know how they are going to be able to accommodate all these extra people.

“The site is also located on a floodplain close to the River Ivel.”

But Councillor Nigel Young, executive member for sustainable communities, service, strategic planning and economic development said: “I am very disappointed that Councillor Zerny did not raise these issues at the sustainable communities overview and scrutiny committee meeting that he attended last week.

“There was plenty of opportunity then for him to object before the next stage of the process started.”

Mr Young said that there would be further opportunities for the public to become involved at the planning stage.

He added that he was confident that the road network in Biggleswade would not be unduly affected as there are plans in place for road improvements in the area and at the A1 Biggleswade south roundabout.