Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Comment on "CBC Approves Legal Challenge on Development Strategy" #HRN2

A call for a Judicial Challenge of a Planning Inspector’s decision over Central Bedfordshire’s Development Strategy was approved by full Council last Thursday.

A Planning Inspector had ruled that Central Bedfordshire Council had not co-operated with neighbouring Luton Borough Council.

Full CBC Press Release


COMMENT

What bothers me about all this is that Central Beds have set a Framework Plan that says some 7,000 homes will be built across land to the east and north of Houghton Regis. They will do this by permitting building on land that is regarded as Green Belt. To facilitate this, they will have the Green Belt boundary rolled back to the line of the A5-M1 link road. I accept all this, as the outline plans seen so far indicate a substantial amount of land (up to a third) will be reallocated as open space. 

Now, if the Inspector is saying the plan is unsound because they have not sufficiently consulted with neighbouring Luton Borough Council, this means that CBC will have to come up with a new plan. That new plan could set new demands on housing targets, eradicating much of the planned open space. Contrary-wise, if they don't do a new plan, then I feel there will be a strong desire for developers to keep coming forward with plans to build on the open spaces, because they will say, "Why not? It's not Green belt land anymore".

 It is already troubling that there are ad hoc extra portions of land that potentially might be built on. All these extra homes create extra pressures on support services, roads, parking,  health, shopping and so on. So, yes, from what I understand at the moment, CBC are right to challenge the inspector's decision, and right to carry on insisting that the number of homes planned for in the Framework Plan for Houghton Regis North is the absolute limit.
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