Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/17/02512/OUT (Houghton Hall)


Address:       Land south of the bungalow, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 6JS


Outline Application: Residential development of up to 1.03ha of the site with formation of two accesses, sustainable urban drainage and associated landscaping.


Applicant:     Haut Ltd



The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/02512/OUT, an outline application for the residential development of up to 1.03ha of the site with the formation of two accesses, sustainable urban drainage and associated landscaping on land south of the bungalow, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 6JS.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional additional/replacement conditions as set out in the Late Sheet.  The planning officer also advised that, further to page 162 of the agenda, he was able to confirm that the trial trench evaluation for the site had been commissioned together with a timetable for the works so there were no archaeology based objections to the application.  He also advised that the upper figure relating to the density of the dwellings was envisaged at approximately 30, this being regarded as more appropriate for a rural area.  The Chairman referred to the possible need to set an upper limit.


In advance of consideration of this item the Committee received a representation from the agent for the applicant under the public participation scheme.  The Chairman sought clarification from the agent as to whether the replacement of condition 14 and the introduction of new, additional conditions relating to highways matters were acceptable.  In his response, and whilst acknowledging the reasons why additional highway controls were being sought for this specific site , he stressed the need to consider the requirements arising from the development of Bedford Road as a whole given the possible wider impact.  He suggested that further discussion might reveal a better solution overall.  The Chairman stated that the Committee was required to determine what was before it but the applicant had the opportunity to seek amendments at a later date.


In response a Member stated that he was aware that local residents wished to see remedial works to Bedford Road.  Ward Members were strongly minded that an effective ramp would be a favoured solution.  Discussion took place on whether the application lay within in the Framework Plan and the Member stated that he had been assured that, whilst it wasn’t allocated, it was within the Framework area.


The agent stated that a tabled access was acceptable and that the question regarding the site’s position in the Framework site was ambiguous given the various plans available.  However, it was a site surrounded by development and treating it as a windfall site was possibly the best way forward in policy terms.


A local Member referred to her attendance at a meeting of the Houghton Regis Town Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee on Monday and sought assurance that the issues raised by the Committee and public, given the timescale, had been given due consideration.  She then welcomed the amended and additional conditions set out in the Late Sheet in particular with regard to the density and stated that she would prefer the maximum number of dwellings to be stated to avoid future doubt.  Following further comment she referred to the concerns raised on social media with regard to drainage, the marshy nature of the surrounding area and the possible impact on the foundations of the older buildings in Bidwell as a result of water run-off.  A number of emails had been received regarding the allocation of S106 funding under the highways section and she sought clarification on what section of the Woodside Link the money would be spent given it was fully operational and how much S106 funding in total would be allocated to the Woodside Link.   She then raised the heading for community uses and stated that, as two of the projects identified, lay within her ward she would have the opportunity to be included in future discussions.  Finally, she welcomed the commitment to provide much needed affordable housing.


The Chairman referred to the Town Council’s original objections which included that of density.  He stated this had now been dealt with but agreed that a upper limit on the number of dwellings  should be formally set by Members.  The Chairman stated that parking provision was an issue to be dealt with at the Reserved Matters stage and he would expect parking to conform with the Council’s Design Guide.  He added that the Internal Drainage Board had made no objections.


The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:


·         A Member commented on the need for the Town Council to address community concerns about the new developments and it was right for it to secure advanced funding to fund community initiatives.  The initiatives would prevent the developments becoming isolated from the town or parish that they were associated with.

·         The Chairman pointed out that the S106 agreement was dealt with in the report.  No figures were indicated because the quantum number of dwellings had not been determined.  If Members were minded to approve the application there would be discussion with ward Members.  A Member stressed the need for the projects to be identified.  Based on a previously example with regard to the control of S106 monies another Member gave his full support to the involvement of ward Members.  The Chairman stated that the planning officers would discuss with ward Members on what was permissible and what was not in relation to the CIL regulations.

·         A Member queried whether there was any coordination with regard to the various development sites on Bedford Road.  The planning officer explained that he was the planning officer responsible for HRN1 and 2 and the Bidwell area.  The aim was to follow a holistic approach to the area.  However, areas of land were under different ownership and discussion sometimes did not take place between these parties.  Often development proposals were not known by the officers until applications were submitted.  The planning officer stressed that he and his colleages would attempt to ensure that standards of development were consistent throughout the different parcels.  He added that he believed that the application set bench marks for which it would be possible to co-ordinate future parcels when they came forward.  He referred specifically to the issues of density, open space and highways in this regard.

·         A Member commented that there appeared to no footpath provided.  He also commented that policies and strategies relating to an area were often agreed some years previously and could therefore be out of date.  He asked that current needs be examined when considering S106 contributions.  In response the Chairman referred to the Late Sheet and a suggested new condition covering the provision of a footway/cycleway on the frontage of the site with Bedford Road.  The Member explained that, with regard to the footpath, he was concerned about the lack of a proper path further up along the Road rather than the frontage of the site.  The planning officer stated that the proposed condition would provide the footpath link to enable residents to access the nearest services which would be in Houghton Regis to the south.  A northern extension of the footpath had not been requested and would not be expected as part of the condition.  The absence of a footpath would likely be considered as part of the overall highways considerations for Bedford Road.  Following further consideration the planning officer stated that the proposed footway would be expected to link in with the existing footway provision.


On being put to the vote 10 members voted for approval, 0 voted against and 1 abstained.




that Planning Application No. CB/17/02512/OUT relating to land south of the bungalow, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 6JS be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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