Planning Application No. CB/17/04959/OUT (Westoning, Flitton & Greenfield)
Address: Park Farm, Park Road, Westoning, Bedford, MK45 5LA
Proposed residential development of up to 73 units comprising of flats and houses, including demolition of up to two no. units on Manor Close. Proposal also includes for a village shop, a village hall and burial ground to be located within the site.
Applicant: European Property Acquisition Ltd
The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/17/04959/OUT for a proposed residential development of up to 73 units comprising of flats and houses, including demolition of up to two units on Manor Close. Proposal also includes for a village shop, a village hall and a burial ground to be located within the site at Park Farm, Park Road, Westoning, Bedford, MK45 5LA.
In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to additional consultation/publicity responses/additional comments and additional conditions as set out in the Late Sheet as well as representations from public speakers.
The public speakers included a representation in objection from Parish Councillor Tony Fraser, a representation in objection from Anthony Peters and a representation from the agent for the applicant in support from Wallace Young.
Committee Members discussed the following points:
• The Planning Officer drew the Members attention to the first paragraph of his report which stated that the application is subject to an appeal against non-determination. The appeal would be heard by method of a hearing on 2 April 2019. The application was therefore no longer before the Committee for determination. However, under paragraph 4.4.53 of Part 3E of the Central Bedfordshire Council Constitution, the non-determination of a major application needs to be reported to the Development Management Committee for a resolution and recommended for the Committee to ratify the refusal.
• Members noted the planning officers recommendation of refusal due to the failure of the application to fully consider heritage assets and their setting which includes a Scheduled Monument and whether there are other more appropriate sites in areas with a lower probability of flooding. It was noted that no consideration of other sites was submitted and therefore the proposal is contrary to the NPPF and refusal was recommended on the grounds of no sequential test of more suitable sites.
• Members noted the public speakers concerns which mirrored those of the planning officer, with the addition of comments around protection of the Green Belt and protected species of otter and water vole being present on the application site.
• The planning officer reported that the site was not included in the original Call for Sites and not allocated in the Emerging Local Plan. The benefits of the application put forward by the applicant do not meet the needs of the area and there were no factors that were considered ‘Very Special Circumstances (VSC’s)’.
• The planning officer noted that the application offered a village hall, shop and burial ground. The Parish Council noted that having a shop on this site was not preferable as it was on the periphery of the village, and a new village hall was not wanted as the existing village hall could be improved.
• Councillor Gomm gave a statement of objections on behalf of Ward Member Councillor Jamieson and left the meeting.
• Members heard from the Highways officer who stated that the traffic access as proposed was acceptable and conditions to enhance the village gateway and extend the speed limit towards the M1 with a 40mph buffer zone were included.
• Members discussed reasons for supporting refusal of the application. Members gave weight to the site being within the green belt, having no VSC’s and there could be better locations for development. It was noted that the application was not compliant with policy DM4, DM14 and CS16; however, further justification is needed to proceed with the second reason for refusal in respect of harm to the countryside
On being put to the vote for REFUSAL, 9 voted in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention.
That the Planning Application No. CB/17/04959/OUT at Park Farm, Park Road, Westoning, Bedford, MK45 5LA, be refused as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.
- 10 - 17.04959 Map, item 132. PDF 828 KB
- 10 - 17.04959 Report, item 132. PDF 270 KB
- 10 - Reasons for refusal as set out, item 132. PDF 40 KB