Plan for up to 416 new homes on Biggleswade Land North refused

The plans had attracted opposition from local councils and residentsThe plans had attracted opposition from local councils and residents
The plans had attracted opposition from local councils and residents
Biggleswade developers asked to accept the "really good" feedback and put forward a new scheme instead of going to appeal

Unsuccessful Biggleswade developers have been asked to put forward a new “improved” scheme instead of appealing a council’s decision to refuse planning.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Development Management Committee yesterday (Wednesday, August 23) voted to refuse a planning application for up to 416 new homes on land off Furzenhall Road, known as Land North.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Committee member, councillor Sue Clark (Conservative, Cranfield and Marston Moretaine) said: “There’s been a lot of really good feedback here about this application.

“I hope the applicant will take note and maybe come forward with an improved and different scheme rather than take this to appeal.

“There are lots of things that could be done so much better here that would maintain the amenity value.

“And I would look forward to seeing a much improved scheme and I really hope the applicant won’t take this to appeal,” she said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The proposed development, which is for a site allocated by the council’s Local Plan, had received over 1,500 objections.

One objector, Colin Thomas, told the committee that he had objected to traffic and road safety reasons.

“Consider this, Land North, an estate of over 400 houses, with at least two car spaces per house, allows for 800 plus cars,” he said.

Residents will have to use their cars frequently as they have no option other than to leave Land North to work, shop, learn, and play.

“[And] there is only one way out,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, Paul Belton, the applicant’s planning consultant, said the Local Plan’s inspector’s report “very clearly ” did not say that this site should be accessed by two means of access.

“That is reflected in the allocation itself which has no such requirement,” he said.

“Hallam worked closely with the council’s policy team during the examination of the local plan and agreed to prepare and submit the application in 2019 when the local plan examination was ongoing.

“This was to help demonstrate the soundness of the plan and the collaborative working relationships.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“A development brief for this site.. was endorsed by this committee in 2020 and it includes a number of measures, including how the site should be accessed.

“The site was allocated in the local plan and endorsed by the inspector; it represents a sustainable location for growth.”

When putting forward the motion to refuse planning, councillor Clark said: “I’m afraid I don’t think that the access as proposed is suitable.

“I feel that the applicant needs to go away and reconsider the access and whether or not access can be taken elsewhere.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Nigel Young (Conservative, Dunstable West) said that when the Local Plan was prepared there was “a clear expectation” that secondary access or even a primary access with secondary access would be considered.

Councillor Russell Goodchild (Lib Dem, Leighton Linslade West) said: “I represent an area which has undergone huge amounts of development over many, many years.

“We’ve got two very large estates of fairly high density, one extremely high density, that have single access and it doesn’t work.”