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Dear Councillor, Land off Deep Spinney, Biddenham Bedfordshire 18/03100/MAO We are delighted that your officers have recommended this application for approval. We have worked hard with your Council to ensure that this application has addressed the concerns of the previous larger application that was refused. Additionally, our site is policy compliant and forms part of the submitted version of the Local Plan, that your Council voted to support. In recommending the application for approval, the report acknowledges that there are impacts from the development, but that the benefits ‘demonstrably’ outweigh them. In reaching this decision, your Planning officers will have worked with other officers in the Council such as the Archaeological Officer and the Conservation Officer. The scheme will deliver: • 160 new homes, a figure fully compliant with the emerging Local Plan • 30% of the homes will be affordable, in line with Bedford Borough Council’s policy, which will help get Bedford residents off the waiting list • Financial contributions to the Council which will help pay for improvements to infrastructure including transport and healthcare provision • New vehicular access off Gold Lane/Deep Spinney with an emergency access off the A4280 • A landscaping strategy that will retain where possible and enhance the local biodiversity • A design that will respect and maintain the existing Biddenham-Bromham gap In any scheme of this size, there will be opposition and your role is to consider those concerns and measure them against the benefits that this scheme will bring. That, and the fact that this application complies with existing Bedford Borough Council policy and with the submitted version of the Local Plan. Granting permission for the application on Monday will ensure that homes are being built on site by 2022 as set out in the housing trajectory figures in the submitted version of the Local Plan. There are further details inside and I hope you will contact us if you have points you wish to clarify ahead of the Planning Committee meeting. Kind regards Lioncourt Strategic Land


A HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT The vision is to deliver much needed housing within Bedford Borough and the sustainable settlement of Biddenham.

The scheme will fully integrate with the structure, appearance, character and landscape of the village by forming an extension to the west of the existing settlement. The proposed development will protect key views from the site’s surrounding area, as well as incorporate a generous and varied open space. We have engaged with the community - including local groups, as well as elected representatives and officers - since 2017 to deliver a high quality sustainable development that will complement the existing landscape and community, and provide much needed new housing for Bedford residents. We have worked hard to address concerns raised throughout this process and your officers recognise that.


Pedestrian / cyclist access and emergency vehicles

Low flood risk area

Up to 160 homes created

New pedestrian route Vehicle access

New play area

Open space and urban gap maintained

Green Barriers help biodiversity

Hedgerows maintained


EXTENSIVE CONSULTATION Lioncourt has engaged extensively with the local community to guide the proposals, including hosting a well-attended public exhibition, engaging with Bedford Borough Council officers and elected members, including ward and parish councillors and the Mayor, and meeting local amenity groups such as the Biddenham Society, the Friends of Biddenham Pond and the Friends of St James’.

RESPONDING TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS "Access needs to be carefully considered to minimise the impact."

After conducting a comprehensive traffic assessment, Gold Lane was chosen as it has the least impact on local traffic.

“Based on the assessment of the application and the mitigation measures proposed there are no highway objections to the proposals” Bedford Borough Council’s Highways (Development Control) Officer "Junction improvements are needed to mitigate the impact of the development." “No objection”

Bromham Road will be upgraded at the new junction and the Applicant will also contribute funding towards improvements at the A4280/Deep Spinney/The Great Ouse roundabout junction.

Highways England.

"The Urban Open Space Gap between Bromham and Biddenham cannot be compromised."

The proposed development has been reduced at the north and west of the site so that the Bromham Biddenham Gap is not harmed physically or visually.

“The proposed development would not significantly undermine the development plan objective of preserving the urban open space” Bedford Borough Council Officer’s Report "Hedgerows need to be retained where possible."

The majority of the existing hedgerows will be retained with new hedgerow planted as part of the wider scheme.

“There would be no significant harm given the majority of the hedgerow would be retained… new hedgerow planting as part of the wider landscaping scheme would mitigate the losses proposed.” Bedford Borough Council Officer’s Report "Sensitive areas of the site, such as the Biddenham Village Pond needs to be respected."

The parameter of the scheme has been reduced to limit development to the north and west of Duck End Lane.


THE LOCAL PLAN Local Plans set out the strategic priorities for development of an area and cover housing, commercial, public and private development, including transport infrastructure, along with protection for the local environment. Adoption of a Local Plan means the local authority has demonstrated it has a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites and will be able to resist speculative planning applications in the open countryside. Without an adopted Local Plan, Councils will be vulnerable to ‘planning by appeal’ and speculative planning applications for housing. The importance of having a planned approach to development ensures that the right infrastructure is in place for growth areas.

BEDFORD BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN

Bedford has prepared a new Local Plan to guide development until 2030, and submitted this to the Government for approval. The submitted version of the Local Plan sets a target of 14,550 new homes over the lifetime of the Plan. The submitted version of the Local Plan identifies land off Deep Spinney as a preferred site for growth, including the delivery of up to 160 homes (Policy 19). This site, along with Land to the rear of Bromham Road (Policy 23), are the only two sites allocated for housing within Biddenham. In addition, Bedford Borough Council’s preferred strategy seeks to prioritise new homes within the Bedford Urban Area, which includes Biddenham.

WHAT STAGE IS THE LOCAL PLAN AT? Following approval by Full Council, the Local Plan has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination. This follows extensive public consultations where over 3,200 submissions were made.

The Local Plan (submitted version) identifies Land off Deep Spinney as a preferred site for growth, including the delivery of up to 160 homes (Policy 19).


ECONOMIC BENEFITS

&

COMMUNITY BENEFITS

CONSTRUCTION

HOUSING

• New direct and indirect construction jobs will be created as a result of construction

• Delivering 160 new homes of which 30% will be affordable, in line with Bedford Borough Council’s policy

COMPLETED DEVELOPMENT

TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENTS

• Contributions through S106 will help finance local improvements

• New vehicular access off Gold Lane/ Deep Spinney with an emergency access off the A4280

LOCAL ECONOMY

NEW ACCESSIBLE PLAY AREA

• Increase in direct and indirect local spending and economic output

• New open spaces and play areas for public enjoyment

APPRENTICESHIPS AND SKILLS

NEW ACCESSIBLE GREEN PUBLIC SPACE

• A construction skills and training programme for local people

• A landscaping strategy that will retain where possible and enhance the local biodiversity

ABOUT LIONCOURT Lioncourt is a Midlands-based company working closely with both landowners and local residents to deliver masterplans which seek to reflect and respect the setting of existing communities.

For further information please contact Nick Stanton at Curtin&Co:

nicks@curtinandco.com

07715 002644

Profile for Martin Huxley

Land off Deep Spinney, Biddenham Bedfordshire  

The vision is to deliver much needed housing within Bedford Borough and the sustainable settlement of Biddenham.

Land off Deep Spinney, Biddenham Bedfordshire  

The vision is to deliver much needed housing within Bedford Borough and the sustainable settlement of Biddenham.

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