Up to 18,000 new homes bid for Chronicle country

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Four new villages east of Biggleswade, a new settlement of up to 10,000 new homes near Tempsford and up to 2,000 homes near Arlesey are being proposed by Central Bedfordshire Council.

The plans have been unveiled in the council’s draft Local Plan, due to go before its executive committee next Tuesday.

The latest figures do not include homes which have already been given planning permission.

The total plan for the borough is around 20-30,000 new homes and 24-30,000 new jobs including key employment sites around Biggleswade South Roundabout on the A1 and RAF Henlow.

The plans, drawn up after widespread consulation last year, include:

>Four new villages east of Biggleswade (3,000-6,600 homes & 4.6ha employment land)

The proposal is to develop a network of linked villages and this includes an opportunity to contribute towards the delivery of the Biggleswade “Green Wheel” providing an extension to Biggleswade Common.

This growth location option lies south of Sutton, west of Dunton and east of Biggleswade. It is bordered by various roads (Baden Powell Way, Dunton Lane, Biggleswade Road and Sutton Road).

This development is dependant on improvements to the A1 and the local road network so that the road network can cope. Improvements to public transport links to Biggleswade train station will also be required.

The proposal includes the following services and amenities: shops; cafes/restaurants; community facilities; leisure facilities; drinking establishments; green open space; a Health and Social Care Hub; preschool/nursery/early years facilities; enlarging existing schools and providing new schools as required.

>New Settlement near Tempsford (2,500- 10,000 homes & new science and technology/business park)

This proposal is for a settlement in an area that reuses previously developed land at the old Tempsford Airfield.

This growth location option sits east of the A1 road, and is north of Sandy. Tempsford village lies to the north and west of the site, and Everton village to the east.

Full scale development here is dependant on improvements to existing transport infrastructure, such as the A1 and A428 roads. It is also dependant on the proposed East-West Rail being confirmed: a station at the new development will be critical to supporting this development. The new station will form an interchange between the new East-West Rail and the East Coast Main Line.

The proposal includes the following services and amenities: shops; cafes/restaurants; community facilities; leisure facilities; drinking establishments; green open space including a country park; pedestrian, cycle and vehicular crossing over railway lines; a health and Social Care Hub; preschool/nursery/early years facilities; enlarging existing schools and providing new schools as required.

Employment opportunities will be provided through a new science and technology/business park to maximise the opportunity for employment within the transport corridor between Oxford and Cambridge, as well as through the provision of infrastructure, including schools, shops and healthcare facilities.

>East of Arlesey (2,000 new homes)

This growth location option is situated between Arlesey in the east and the A507 road and Fairfield in the west. The site borders Arlesey Cross in the north and extends south of Arlesey beyond the Blue Lagoon. The layout of Arlesey Cross will be taken into consideration.

The proposal includes a country park that will provide a permanent separation between Arlesey and Fairfield, and which will also benefit biodiversity and give access to leisure and recreation facilities. The proposal also includes enhancements to the Blue Lagoon and Green Lagoon.

The proposal includes the following services and amenities: shops; cafes/restaurants; community facilities; leisure facilities; drinking establishments; a Health and Social Care Hub; a care home, extra care facilities and retirement village units; preschool/nursery/early years facilities; enlarging existing schools and providing a new secondary school as required.

The proposal also includes the north/south relief road, as this will be important for supporting the new development, as well as public transport links to Arlesey train station (which is close by, as is Letchworth train station).

A full scale consultation will be launched from July 4 with public drop in sessions (2pm – 8pm):

20 July, Biggleswade Town Council

26 July, Arlesey Village Hall

7 August, Sandy Village Hall

Following the consultation a pre-submission plan will be drwn up next year.

To find out more go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplanupdates