Fears over east village plan for Biggleswade

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A new village on land east of Biggleswade will fail to benefit the town and its facilities, which are already struggling to cope, it has been claimed.

A site has been earmarked for 1,500 homes in the emerging Central Bedfordshire Local Plan.

The project would include up to five acres of commercial development, up to 12 acres of primary school development and up to ten acres of other leisure and community development.

It would also feature up to 148 acres of open space including, play areas, allotments and a country park.

A development brief for the area was being considered by the council’s development management committee.

Biggleswade North councillor Jane Lawrence said: “We’ve got what I call East Biggleswade, a place called King’s Reach, with 2,500 houses by Taylor Wimpey.

“That was started in 2004 and here we are 14 years later and they haven’t finished yet.”

“We can’t manage now, let alone if we’re going to have a new village using all the facilities of the town,” she explained.

“The other thing is that because we’re on this Oxford Milton Keynes Cambridge corridor it doesn’t actually apply to Biggleswade.

“This is because the road and railway line is going to be north of us, probably through Sandy.

“It says it’s going to be a great benefit to existing Biggleswade. I don’t know quite how you work that out.

“If you’re going to add another 1,500 homes to an already full place I can’t see that it’s going to benefit.”

Consultant case officer Nik Smith said: “By endorsing this document members are in no way accepting the principle of development at this site.

“What they would be doing is that if a planning application came forward we would expect the contents of this development site to be reflected in that application.

Councillors unanimously endorsed the land east of Biggleswade development brief, with the affordable housing contribution to be policy compliant at the time of any plans submitted.