Fears growing over town homes plans

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The small town of Potton is facing an onslaught of planning applications on its borders.

According to the town’s independent councillor Adam Zerny, the latest plan is for 80 houses off Sutton Road, which he calculates brings the number of potential homes to hit the area in the past few years to 830.

A application for 227 homes off Potton Road in Biggleswade is to be considered by Central Beds councillors at its Development Control committee neeting next Wednesday.

Officers have recommended it for approval despite two petitions and more than 220 residents’ individual objections.

There are also plans in the system for 186 homes on Sandy Road with more than 100 objections.

Last month a plan for 86 homes at Biggleswade Road was turned down but there are fears the developer could go to appeal.

Cllr Zerny said he was opposed to the latest Sutton Road application adding: “With so many sites already approved, this would only heap further pressure on the town’s infrastructure.

“As former LSA land it would be inappropriate to build large developments on it given its historical significance.

“The site is on former ‘Land Settlement Association’ (LSA) land. The LSA was set up in 1934 to offer smallholdings to unemployed workers from industrial areas of England. There were a number of sites across the country but the first one was in Potton where 30 smallholdings were created. Each family was given a cottage and five acres to grow food and keep livestock.”

A Potton Residents for Sustainable Development Facebook page has more than 500 members who have been campaigning against planning applications. They fear the infrastructure for Potton and nearby Biggleswade will be unable to cope with the influx of new homes.

One campaigning group said: “The Hall for All committee members share the general view of people posting in this group that massive, unfettered development in Potton is unsustainable.

“Even so, if these big estates are approved and are going to happen (such as Land South of Sandy Road) or are going to appeal (such as the new Biggleswade Road site) then it is critical that any development provides infrastructure to help in some small way to make it sustainable.”

The public consultation for the Sutton Road application runs until April 14 and comments on the Sandy Road site have been extended until April 5.