Revised plan for up to 416 homes on land north of Biggleswade submitted to council

Central Beds CouncilCentral Beds Council
Central Beds Council
The controversial scheme was refused by the council last summer

Revised outline plans for up to 416 homes on land north of Biggleswade have been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council.

The controversial scheme on a 43-acre site north of Furzenhall Road was refused by the local authority’s development management committee last August.

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An appeal against the previous rejection by CBC has been lodged now by applicant Hallam Land Management, according to a social media post by Conservative Biggleswade East councillor Grant Fage.

The project includes accesses from Furzenhall Road and from the roundabout at Potton Road and Baden Powell Way, as well as green infrastructure accommodating landscaping, allotments, community orchard and public open space.

There’s also a children’s play space, affordable housing, parking, cycleways and footways, new roads and other works.

In a covering letter to CBC, agent Carter Jonas said: “The majority of the application site is located within land allocated for residential development in the adopted Central Bedfordshire Local Plan.

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“A previous application for the same quantum of housing accommodation on the allocated site was refused permission because of the proposed accessarrangements, including a single point of access from Furzenhall Road.

“These plans contain an extra vehicular access from the roundabout at Potton Road and Baden Powell Way to specifically address the previous refusal reason around site access.

“This proposed scheme was discussed with CBC at a pre-application workshop in January. Those talks focused on highways, landscape and ecology matters.

“The development with its revised access arrangements were discussed with

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CBC Biggleswade councillors in February and presented to a meeting of Biggleswade Town Council in March.”

Extra data around traffic modelling has been produced, CBC deputy leader and Independent Biggleswade West councillor Hayley Whitaker revealed last May.

“This application has been widely criticised for the poor access via a single road, Furzenhall Road, with seemingly little weight given to the current traffic problems along Potton Road,” she explained at that time.

Councillor Fage described on Facebook how the applicant appears “undeterred by the public humiliation which was administered at the planning committee meeting last year”.

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He said: “They’ve taken on board the feedback that a single point of access down a narrow residential road, with two blind corners and limited off street parking is wholly inadequate.

“They’re now subsequently proposing a new road around the estates north of Potton Road.

“Further to this, and somewhat separately, the original land north refusal has been appealed by the applicant. We can expect a public hearing with the planning inspector later in the year.”

Almost all traffic modelling uses something called ‘trip end model presentation program’ or TEMPro, which allows developers to project the traffic growth for the coming years up to 2050.

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The original application using information from 2018, but this version of the application uses a more recent TEMPro release from 2021.

Projections were adjusted following the Covid pandemic, with the traffic projections lower, councillor Whitaker added. “As a result, the traffic modelling for the development is suddenly much improved.

Anyone wanting to comment on the project can have their say on CBC’s planning portal by searching for the link CB/24/00999.