Scheme for controversial 10 pitch traveller site at Dunton to be decided next week

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A controversial planning application for a traveller site between Biggleswade and Dunton will be decided at a public meeting on June 29.

Central Bedfordshire Council planning officers have recommended the scheme on the council owned land at Dunton Lane in Biggleswade, for approval.

The plan is for 10 permanent pitches with studio buildings, 2 transit pitches with studio buildings, a site manager’s office and a sewage treatment plant.

There have been 107 letters of objection from residents and Dunton Parsh Council.

Recommending the scheme, planners said: “The proposed development is in a sustainable location and would provide permanent and transit pitches towards the council’s five- year supply of gypsy and traveller accommodation needs in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Policy for Traveller Sites.

“The proposal would not result in significant harm to the character of the area or an adverse impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring properties to the extent that it would outweigh the benefit of providing pitches at a time when the council cannot demonstrate a five-year land supply.”

But objectors say the site would cause more problems in an area with few facilities.

They say there is no local doctor’s surgery, fears about whether the current sewage arrangements could cope and the fact that there is no easy access from the site to the village, which would impact on integration.

There were also fears for the local schools and that the development would dominate the community.

But officers say the site is outside any current village settlement in open countryside.

Significant landscape buffers would be developed to soften the impact of the scheme and there has been no objection from the council’s pollution team.

The meeting agenda is now on the Central Bedfordshire Council’s website.

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting needs to contact the committee clerk Helen Clerk via once the agenda has been announced.

Local Central Bedfordshire Councillor, Adam Zerny, said: “It is right residents get to have their say at a public meeting.

“I encourage everyone who can to come along and demonstrate why there is so much opposition to this application.”