150-home housing scheme for Langford would be 'a tragedy' says councillor - but plans get the go ahead

Detailed plans for first phase of the scheme have been approved

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 8th July 2022, 11:05 am

Plans for up to 150 homes on the outskirts of Langford would be “a tragedy” according to one Central Bedfordshire councillor.

But despite this, detailed plans for phase one of the scheme have been approved by Central Beds Council.

Outline proposals submitted by Gladman Developments Limited on farmland off Cambridge Close were granted planning permission in September 2019, despite more than 120 objections from local residents.

The location of the site

The 18.5-acre site, close to the East Coast Main Line, is allocated for housing in the Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan, according to a report to the local authority’s development management committee.

Councillor Gill Clarke, who chairs Langford Parish Council, wondered why a reserved matters application has been submitted only for phase one.

“Will a revised application be made for more than the agreed houses?” she asked. “This phase one is for 82 homes, but phase two is a larger site.

“Access from one to the other is over a private road used constantly by Anglian Water lorries visiting the sewage works and agricultural vehicles, as well as walkers and cyclists. How will this be safe for all users?”

Langford neighbourhood plan steering group member Anthony Lewis branded it “a development of mean minimums”.

“Minimum public consultation, minimum plot and garden sizes, minimum support for a wildlife corridors, minimum road widths and shared drives,” he explained. “The list goes on. So many opportunities missed.”

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Conservative Stotfold and Langford councillor Steve Dixon suggested deferring the scheme, saying: “This has outline consent, but there’s no alignment. I don’t know what the density is going to be in phase two.

“We’re being asked to make a judgment on half of the site. We’ve real concerns about access to and from the site around the area of the railway bridge and roundabout.

“I’m fundamentally concerned about the safety of the crossing point over the concrete track.

“South of that point there’s 750 acres of horse grazing arable land, which people have to access that way.”

Land manager at the company responsible for delivering the project Crest Nicholson (Chiltern) Limited, Tommy Burslem said: “This will set the standard for the second phase.

“It’s a high quality development in keeping with the outline permission and satisfies all the council’s planning policy requirements and standards.

“The proposals consist of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, with 29 properties affordable on this first phase. The 213 parking spaces exceeds the local authority’s minimum standards.

“Full details of the crossing point across the private drive are submitted and approved to the satisfaction of county highways.

“The play area with a perimeter fence will be sited a good distance back from Cambridge Road.”

Independent Linslade councillor Victoria Harvey said: “The people in the furthest corner are a long way from the community facilities in Langford.

“I think it’s poorly designed. I can’t see how they will live in a healthy lifestyle. We’re building ourselves an estate which cause this council big costs. It’s a dull design to live in and it’s a tragedy if this goes through.”

Councillors approved the detailed plans with seven votes in favour, four against and one abstention.