Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/17/02350/OUT (Cranfield and Marston Moretaine)


Address:       Land off Kerrison Close, Lidlington, Beds (nearest postcode MK43 0UW)


Outline: Residential development comprising 3 dwellings, with garages and on plot parking.


Applicant:     Mr and Mrs O’Connell





The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/02350/OUT for a residential development comprising three dwellings, with garages and on plot parking at land off Kerrison Close, Lidlington, Beds.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity responses, additional/amended conditions and additional informatives.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee received representations from Lidlington Parish Council and the agent for the applicant under the public participation scheme.  The agent responded to a request for clarification.


A ward Member commented as follows:


·         The site was designated as open space and it would set a precedent if building was allowed to take place on it.

·         That if the application was to be approved then conditions should be imposed requiring that the footpaths were open throughout the building works and a contractors’ management plan implemented for such matters as working hours and access in view of the proximity of existing housing.


The planning officer responded:


·         The site was designated in the Local Plan as green space and not as public open space which was why there was no management plan and therefore no enforcement action when it had become overgrown.

·         The rights of way officer had no objection subject to conditions to allow better management of the right of way.  This would be considered under reserved matters.

·         The site layout was indicative so the impact on neighbours would be considered under reserved matters.

·         With regard to the close proximity of the rail line and a previous Inspector’s decision against a development, the pollution officer had been consulted and had no objection subject to conditions under reserved matters looking at the potential impact on the dwellings.

·         The setting of a precedent was questionable given the lack of public access and therefore the level of amenity.  The application should also be considered on its individual merits

·         Given the condition of the site the level of loss was considered acceptable.


The highways officer responded:


·         The proposed refuse collection turning area on the site would enable a fire tender to turn.

·         The Council refuse vehicle would not itself enter as the development would be on private land.

·         The roads in Kerrison Close were not adopted being 4.8m wide with no footpaths so that pedestrians had to walk in the road.  However, there was good visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

·         Crossing the footpath and bridleway was a public right of way issue and the right of way officer had raised no objection.  Cars had access to public rights of way in other parts of Central Bedfordshire.


A second ward Member, who sat on the Committee, commented as follows:


·         If the site was a green space without public access it did not matter if it was underused.

·         If the site was not managed then it encouraged biodiversity.

·         The footpath and bridleway running through the site were both well used, with good surfaces and provided access to the larger green space area nearby.

·         The public right of way crossing the rail line formed part of the Timberland Trail, a circular walk which started at The Forest Centre, Marston Vale.

·         If three houses were built they would urbanise what was an open space with a rural feel.

·         There was a separate outline planning application from a different applicant for 5000 homes adjacent to Lidlington to the north of the railway line.  However, the land was designated as green space in that applicant’s master plan. The responses to the associated consultative events was for more green space to be added and this had been done.  To build on the site before Members was, therefore, counter intuitive and went against the results of the consultation.

·         Access from Kerrison Close was restricted with cars parked on both sides and a long running local concern regarding the absence of a footpath.

·         The spacing and density in the housing estate were very tight.   They were approved before the Council’s design guide was adopted and did not conform to it.

·         The estate was congested with parked cars.


The third ward Member, who was the Chairman of the Committee, expressed concern regarding the loss of the green space and the crossing of a well-used footpath and bridleway by vehicles.


The Committee considered the application and, in summary, commented as follows:


·         It was queried whether the informative supplied by Network Rail and set out in the Late Sheet was for the correct crossing.  The planning officer confirmed that the informative had been supplied by Network Rail and was correct as far as he was aware.

·         The potential impact on residents as set out in the Network Rail informative was raised.

·         The plan showing the depth of the remaining buffer zone between the rail line and the houses was queried as it looked deeper on the plan than at the site inspection.  If the buffer zone was insufficient then was it a sustainable location.  The planning officer confirmed that the plans were correct.

·         As a point of clarification the planning officer stated that the site was actually designated as an accessible green space.  A Member commented that the partial fencing off and lack of maintenance was the landowner’s responsibility and the situation had been engineered to provide a reason to remove the site’s designation and develop it.

·         Clarification was sought on the sites designation and whether the bridleway was fenced off from the entrance at Lombard Street.  The planning officer advised that it was designated in the Core Strategy and was one of the types of land that formed an accessible green space.  As it wasn’t accessible the land was either a natural green space or green corridor depending on interpretation.

·         The railway line was to be upgraded leading to heavier use.

·         The width of the site had been roughly measured on the site inspection and the maximum distance was only approximately 19m.  This was insufficient to construct the homes and gardens, a road, a buffer zone and the bridleway and footpath.


It was moved and seconded that the application be approved.


On being put to the vote 5 Members voted to approve the application, 7 voted against approval and 1 abstained.


It was then moved and seconded that the application be refused.  The second planning officer advised that the reason for refusal should focus on the loss of the amenity function of the green space and the harm that would be caused to the character of the area.


On being put to the vote 7 Members voted to refuse the application, 4 voted against refusal and 2 abstained.




that Planning Application No. CB/17/02350/OUT relating to land off Kerrison Close, Lidlington, Beds. be refused as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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