Five planning applications, for up to 1,900 new homes in Chronicle country being considered next week

Hassocks Parish Council is inviting residents to share their views on its new Neighbourhood Plan
Hassocks Parish Council is inviting residents to share their views on its new Neighbourhood Plan

Five large housing developments are being considered for approval next week by borough planners - including one for 1,500 new homes just outside Biggleswade.

The plans being considered include up to 1,500 homes, a primary school and commercial development at land east of Baden Powell Way, Biggleswade.

There is also an outline application for up to 147 homes and public open space at The Lagoon, 197 Hitchin Road, Arlesey, up to 95 new homes at Loft Farm and West of Church Street, Langford, an outline application for up to 90 new homes on land at Ivel Road, Shefford and the demolition of 32 Shefford Road, Meppershall and existing nursery buildings, and the construction of 60 new homes - a total of 1,892 new homes being considered in Chronicle country next Wednesday.

Central Bedfordshire Council officers are recommending all but the Lagoon site for approval.

The Baden Powell site, which also plans to include allotments, play space and a country park, has received 206 objections.

The Arlesey site at The Lagoon, is strongly opposed by Arlesey Town Council and six of its neighbours, another six neighbours support the scheme.

Planners have recommended it for refusal over concerns there would be a loss of gypsy and traveller site pitches already on the site and that the site was outside the settlement envelope for Arlesey. The site was also rejected under CBC’s call for land as part of its Local Plan.

Recommending the scheme for refusal, officers said: “The site is outside of the Arlesey Settlement Envelope and is within the open countryside and given its location, scale and relationship to the existing settlement the development would cause significant and demonstrable harm to the character and appearance of the area and prevailing landscape by extending built development into the countryside appearing as a poor built environment.”

The Loft Farm plan had been deferred from December but is recommended for approval.

Langford Parish Council and 94 neighbours have objected to the scheme, arguing it is outside Langford’s settlement envelope and is an overdevelopment.

But planners said: “Settlements that are classified as Large Villages are considered to be able to accommodate small scale housing and employment uses together with new facilities to serve the village. Although ‘small scale development’ is not defined, the scale of the proposed development should reflect the scale of the settlement in which it is to be located. The scale of the proposal is considered to be reflective of the scale of the settlement.”

Shefford Town Council and six neigbours objected to the Ivel Road site. The NHS also raised concerns about the impact on health services in the town which they said were close to capacity.

Meppershall Parish Council and 58 neighbours raised concerns about the 60 new homes in the village saying it was an overdevelopment. The Council for the Protection of Rural England also raised concerns about the site being unsustainable to the environment and transport.

The development Management meeting is being held next Wednesday from 10am at Chicksands. Potton Independent councillor Adam Zerny, who last week called for CBC meetinsg to be held in the evenings to allow more members of the public to attend, said: “1,500 houses is way too many for Biggleswade and it is ridiculous these meetings take place during the working day when so few people can attend”.