Shefford houses are approved

Central Beds Council
Central Beds Council

A proposal for 49 new homes in Shefford was approved by Central Beds Council on Wednesday.

The development will be at Bridge Farm on Ivel Road where at the front section of the site, planning permission has already been granted for a care home.

In the report pack for the Development Management Committee meeting a statement read: “The principle of development on this site is already established by the fact it has been allocated for mixed use.

“Therefore there can be no policy level debate about possible harm to the openness of the countryside.

“While the Council would not wish to see employment land lost, it would appear that there is no prospect of the land being used for this purpose in the future.”

The approved care home is expected to generate around 60 full time equivalent jobs which would contribute towards job provision in the area.

In order for this development to be considered sustainable, the existing services and facilities of Shefford would need to be able to cope with the demands of the new unplanned residential development.

There were concerns over the number of school places in Shefford but Shefford Lower School has recently expanded to 450 places in order to cater for the expected housing growth as a result of the allocated sites.

When challenged Cllr Nigel Young said: “We are not discussing the principle of development here that’s established already. We have got employment use on the site with the 60 jobs and that is a big factor.”

While the site is outside of the Settlement Envelope, where new development is restricted to protect the countryside, the provision of the employment land was considered to outweigh the harm to the countryside.

You can see the full Development Management Committee meeting by visiting http://www.centralbedfordshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts