A councillor was left outraged as Central Bedfordshire Council narrowly approved a planning application for 62 homes in Potton dubbed “not fit for purpose”.
Cllr Doreen Gurney representing the ward, was furious after CBC’s development management committee approved the new estate off Mill Lane, directly opposite a children’s play area. Crucially, access to the estate comes from a bridleway at Mill Lane – also used to access the play area.
Cllr Gurney said: “It’s absolutely not fit for purpose.
“I fought very hard to get it refused. A lot of members came on site and appreciated the narrowness of the lane.”
Her views were backed by independent Potton Cllr Adam Zerny, who said it was the “worst planning decision CBC had made in living memory”.
He said: “It beggars belief that CBC would think this an appropriate place for a new development. The tiny track – which the developers don’t even own – is completely unsuitable for access to 62 new houses.”
During the committee meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Nigel Young refuted arguments that CBC was close to its five year land supply after highlighting a builder’s successful appeal in Westoning.
He said: “Unless builders deliver, we will be in a precarious position as will every other local authority because of the government’s drive to bring forward as much housing as they possibly can.”
Six members voted for the application, and six against.
The deciding vote came from chairman Cllr Ken Matthews who said: “Looking at how this might fare on appeal, I believe we are on very thin ice if we were to refuse this.”
But Cllr Gurney added: “It’s going to be very dangerous.
“We’re already putting on a one-way flow to stop the traffic going out of Mill Lane as the road isn’t wide enough for two cars. I’m very concerned for the safety of our children.”
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