Councils join forces to fight controversial scheme for 416 new houses in Biggleswade

The development has received opposition from local councils and more than 1,500 individuals as well as three petitionsThe development has received opposition from local councils and more than 1,500 individuals as well as three petitions
The development has received opposition from local councils and more than 1,500 individuals as well as three petitions
Controversial plans have attracted huge opposition

Sandy Town Council has joined forces with its Biggleswade neighbour in a bid to block a housing development.

The scheme to build 416 houses on agricultural land north of Biggleswade immediately to the north of Furzenhall estate, Southlands Ave and Mountbatten Drive has drawn massive opposition.

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The project includes affordable housing, allotments, a community orchard, public open space, children's play area, parking, cycleways and footpaths, and landscaping.

The controversial plan, first put forward in 2019, put on hold in 2020 and then resubmitted, has had three petitions opposing the outline proposals, according to the planning notice on Central Bedfordshire Council's website, as well as more than 1,500 representations against it, 15 in favour and seven general comments.

In 2021 Bigglewade Town Council objected to the plans, stating there were around 20 to 30 things they dislike about the scheme, including terrible access down Furzenhall Road, poor analysis of traffic at the junctions between Shortmead Street and Sun Street and between Drove Road and London Road and the disruption caused to and the impact on several monuments and potentially nationally important archaeology on the site.

Biggleswade History Society has also raised issues on the impact of the historic commons next to the site.

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In a statement, Sandy Town Council said: “Members are of the view that Sandy is likely to be affected as a previous transport assessment has acknowledged this. Councillors mentioned that the recent traffic survey stating that Potton Road’s traffic flow had greatly reduced was unlikely to remain at those low levels as the report was compiled during Covid”.

Councillors went on to explain that the number of dwellings would lead to a large volume of traffic along the entrance roads which does not have the capacity. They are also concerned about the impact it will have on Sandy’s already overwhelmed GP services – since some residents of Sandy are already having to go to Biggleswade to get an appointment.

​Mayor of Biggleswade Cllr Mark Foster this week added: “Biggleswade Town Council has strongly objected to this site at each stage since it first came forward in August 2017 for development in the Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan.

"The current application was submitted in December 2019. There have been over 1,500 formal objections to CBC demonstrating the strength of feeling in the town. The fact that the application has not yet been determined indicates that there are significant issues.

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“The Town Council has taken advice from transport consultants on several occasions, as one of the main reasons for objection is the effect on traffic in one of the oldest parts of the town.

“The formal response to the application this time will be finalised at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday 13th June.”

The land north of Biggleswade project would be determined by Central Bedfordshire Council's development management committee in due course.

You can view the plans on Central Bedfordshire Council’s planning portal, ref CB/19/04301/OUT