Charity calls for review of Northill

A charity dedicated to protecting rural areas is calling for Government action over plans to build new homes in Northill.

CPRE Bedfordshire has asked the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to “call-in for review” Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to approve a small but controversial scheme for nine new houses in Bedford Road, Northill that they and Northill Parish Council believe will have a serious impact on the conservation area of Northill.

Central Bedfordshire Council gave the go ahead for the scheme earlier this month, despite strong opposition from local residents.

Northill Parish councillor Keith Bennett told the meeting approval would make members responsible for the “irrevisible harm to the Northill Conservation Area.

CPRE Bedfordshire believes that the decision to approve the application conflicts with national policy regarding the protection of heritage buildings in conservation areas.

A spokesperson for CPRE Bedfordshire said: “Central Bedfordshire Council is under severe pressure from developers because it still has no agreed Local Plan and is unable to demonstrate to Government that it has a 5 year supply of land available for housing development.

“This is leading to a “free-for-all” with developers submitting hostile planning applications one after another right across the local authority area, followed by Appeals if they don’t get what they want.

“The people paying the price for this are the residents of Central Bedfordshire - they now have no idea where new homes will be built in their community or how many.”

See our letters page 12 for more reaction to the plans