To respond to general questions and statements from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution.
The Chairman invited the public speakers to make their statements in accordance with the Public Participation Scheme.
Central Bedfordshire Local Plan
Mr Bishop, who was the Chairman of Campton Village Action Group and spoke on behalf of a significant proportion of village residents, explained that Campton was a small village. Despite this, residents had provided the fourth largest quantity of responses to the most recent Local Plan edition which underlined the level of engagement within the village. He welcomed the removal of a development at The Glebe, Campton, but raised concerns that site HAS08had increased to 66 dwellings from 32 dwellings. Residents accepted that development was needed, but this needed to be within the bounds of the village. There would be no countryside side gap between Campton and Shefford, only the A507. There would be an increase in the volume of traffic in the area, specially at the junction with the A507. The local school was full and additional children would lead to an increase in school transport.
Mr Booton, spoke on behalf of Campton and Chicksands Parish Council, and was pleased that the Glebe, Campton had not been selected in the proposed pre-submission Local Plan and that local people had been listened to. The Parish Council recognised the need for housing growth. However, the Parish Council was concerned that HAS08 had increased to 66 dwellings. Campton had 191 houses and an increase of the level proposed would change the nature of the village. He was concerned that the development of a separate road and would form a backfill, setting a president for other planning applications. The maps in the Plan did not show the new Campton fields development. He requested that a review of the number of dwellings be carried out and that the space between Campton and Shefford be retained so that coalition did not occur.
Mr Ward raised concerns that the proposed Plan had been rushed, consultation feedback had not been considered and there were flaws in the proposals. He believed that the Inspector would determine that the Plan was unsound. In particular, Mr Ward highlighted the proposed growth in Arlesey which he contended was disproportionate. Arlesey was a small rural settlement with around 2,700 dwellings and a further 1,400 homes expected to be delivered as part of the current masterplan. The proposal to add a further 2,000 would result in Arlesey doubling in size. The Housing Needs Survey in the Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan had identified a need for 46affordable housing units and 35 sale. No other villages had been allocated this extent of additional housing. He recognised the need for additional housing, but this would have an impact on the environment, affecting the quality of life for residents in the area. He was also concerned that the A507 and A1M were already at capacity. He requested the Council to reject the proposed Plan.
In response to the above comments, the Executive Member for Regeneration explained that the Executive were being asked to recommend to Council that the draft Pre-Submission Local Plan should be approved for public consultation. The consultation would commence on 11 January 2018 for a period of 6 weeks. Following this, Officers would analyse the responses to the consultation and submit them to the Inspector. A public enquiry would then be convened and all Members and the public who objected to the Plan would have the opportunity to address the Inspector.
He was aware of the public concern in Campton about the proposed allocation. The Plan had been drafted based on technical evidence. The Council had previously consulted on the broad areas for growth and the outcome from this was that the broad areas were acceptable, so the majority of the proposed development was based around these areas. He urged Members, Town and Parish Councils and residents to respond to the consultation.