Planning Application No. CB/17/02575/OUT (Houghton Conquest and Haynes)
- Meeting of DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10.00 a.m. (Item 122.)
- View the background to item 122.
Address: Land east of Ampthill Road and north of Bedford Road surrounding Great Thickthorn Farm, Houghton Conquest (nearest postcode MK45 3NQ)
Outline application (with all matters reserved except access): Mixed use development with access from Ampthill Road and Bedford Road comprising up to 650 dwellings, children's play spaces, a countryside park comprising formal and informal open space and playing pitches, new woodland and other landscape works together with a localised footpath diversion, a site of up to 2.00 hectares for educational use and other associated works and operations including but not limited to demolition, earthworks and engineering operations (including in relation to utilities and drainage).
Applicant: Old Road Securities plc
The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/02575/OUT, an outline application (with all matters reserved except access) for a mixed use development with access from Ampthill Road and Bedford Road comprising up to 650 dwellings, children's play spaces, a countryside park comprising formal and informal open space and playing pitches, new woodland and other landscape works together with a localised footpath diversion, a site of up to 2.00 hectares for educational use and other associated works and operations including but not limited to demolition, earthworks and engineering operations (including in relation to utilities and drainage) on land east of Ampthill Road and north of Bedford Road surrounding Great Thickthorn Farm, Houghton Conquest.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity response, additional comments and additional/amended conditions and amended/additional informatives as set out in the Late Sheet. The planning officer also advised that:
· the policy stated in the Late Sheet (under Additional Comments) should be HA1 reference HAS27.
· The date for the submitted Parameter Plan mentioned in the Late Sheet (under Amended Conditions) should be May 2017.
· The date of the footpath connections plan mentioned in the Late Sheet (under Condition 6) should be January 2018.
· A late comment had been received from Bedford Borough Council regarding the secondary school contribution. The planning officer stated that it was felt that this could be resolved by discussions with the Borough Council in relation to drafting the S106 agreement.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received representations from Houghton Conquest Parish Council, an objector to the application and the agent for the applicant under the public participation scheme.
On behalf of the ward Member, who had been unable to attend the meeting, the Chairman read out a statement setting out the ward Member’s concerns and suggestions regarding the application.
The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:
· The proposed country park was to be delivered early in the scheme. It would be planted as soon as was possible and prior to occupation. Details of the trees to be planted would come forward under the requirements set out in proposed Condition 15 and the officers could ensure there was a mix of saplings and semi-mature trees as part of the scheme. The planning officer explained that the country park could not be delivered prior to commencement because of the ground work and significant underground infrastructure that needed to be installed first.
· With regard to the request that the site entrance be from the B530 rather than Bedford Road the planning officer stated that the highways issues were covered by the proposed highways related conditions including a requirement that the junctions of the proposed vehicular access points had been be constructed and a Construction Traffic Management Plan, which covered the routing of such vehicles.
· The area of land at the B530 Ampthill Road/Bedford road junction which would be left once the road was diverted into the site was dealt with by an additional condition requiring a scheme to be submitted for the land to prevent unauthorised vehicular access.
· The footpaths linked up with Houghton Conquest and the footpath on the B530 would link up with the main Wixams site.
· The possible issue of fly tipping on the cycle track was dealt with by a proposed condition and was related to the requirement for a scheme for the area of land at the B530 Ampthill Road/Bedford road junction.
· There was to be no access to be taken from the B530 for the original Wixams site but that the site allocations all had site accesses from the B530. It was not predicated that the a access would be onto the A6.
· There was a significant NHS contribution to a GP surgery on the main Wixams site and land had been secured through a S106 agreement. A primary school would be opened on the application site within two years of the start of development and contributions obtained towards a secondary school on the main Wixams site.
The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:
· A Member’s expression of concern that the site had originally been allocated for 500 homes but the application was for 650 dwellings. He hoped the density of the site had not been compromised by too great a degree and he would be examining the Master Plan to establish how the increase had been achieved and the contributions associated with it.
· A Member’s query as to whether Informative 9 could be a condition. In response the planning officer stated that the Informative had to remain as such because the application before Members was for Outline purposes only apart from the access.
· A Member’s wish to see the use of the health care contribution clearly defined specifically to provide local outreach health care for the residents of the development in the form of a spoke to the principal hub on the main Wixams site. He stated that he wished to see an Informative on this included. The planning officer responded that the CCG/NHS were aware of the urgent need to provide a facility in the area and discussion was taking place on bringing its provision forward. The contribution was to be used towards the surgery on the main Wixams site before the hub and spoke concept was developed further. However, the surgery would be of a flexible design so that it could become a hub or spoke as was eventually required.
· A Member suggested the provision of a small community facility near the school to enable people to meet and enjoy light refreshments. He asked that officers explore this with the developers. The officer advised that a contribution of £100k had been sought for the refurbishment and extension of Houghton Conquest village hall. A desire to see a separate facility on the proposed development could be discussed with the developers although there could be a subsequent impact on the monies available for the Houghton Conquest Village Hall.
· The minimisation of inconvenience for local residents arising from the construction traffic.
· A Member’s suggestion that the armoured cable which carried the power to charging points for electric vehicles be installed in this and all future major developments in the emerging Local Plan, especially as the cables were extremely difficult to retrofit. Another Member suggested that the issue be included in the Council’s Design Guide. The first Member stated that the Design Guide would be revised at the next opportunity and discussion had already taken place on including facilities for charging electric vehicles in the next edition. The planning officer stated that the Council currently had no policy regarding the provision of charging facilities for vehicles but this could be discussed with the applicant.
· The Chairman stated that the matters raised above on community facilities, electric vehicle charging and health care would be included as Informatives to the applicant, if the application was approved, so that discussion on their provision could take place.
· A Member commented on the pragmatic and sensible view adopted by the Parish Council. He felt that this indicated that the applicant had attempted to work with the local community and it suggested to other developers the value of bringing existing communities on side as far as was possible.
· Concern by a Member on the impact of the development of increased traffic flows to and from Flitwick railway station in the absence of a railway station at Wixams. The Chairman explained that difficulties being experienced in the provision of the latter. Discussion also took place on the quality of the bus service in Flitwick and possible future measures which could improve it.
On being put to the vote 11 Members voted for approval, 0 voted against and 1 abstained.
that Planning Application No. CB/17/02575/OUT relating to land east of Ampthill Road and north of Bedford Road surrounding Great Thickthorn Farm, Houghton Conquest be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.
- 06 17.02575 Map, item 122. PDF 1018 KB
- 06 17.02575 Report, item 122. PDF 359 KB
- 06 17.02575 Schedule, item 122. PDF 133 KB