Central Beds Council respond to Potton housing criticism

PUBLISHED: 14:30 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 25 May 2018

Central Bedfordshire Council is to vote on its Local Plan on Thursday.

Central Bedfordshire Council is to vote on its Local Plan on Thursday.

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Central Bedfordshire Council has hit back at a councillor’s criticism over housing developments in Potton.

Councillor Adam Zerny of Central Bedfordshire Council and Potton Town Council. Councillor Adam Zerny of Central Bedfordshire Council and Potton Town Council.

Potton councillor Adam Zerny, who sits as an independent on the Conservative-run authority, has expressed his disappointment at applications for 200 new homes – and called on residents to “make their views known”.

His criticism comes after two applications were made to the council.

The first, from Blakeney Estates, is for 30 houses off Everton Road – including landscaping, ancillary works and access road – with 87 Everton Road set to be knocked down to make access.

The second, from Hallam Land Management, is for a much larger site of 170 homes off Sandy Road.

Responding to Mr Zerny’s criticism over the Everton Road plans, a council spokeswoman told the Comet: “Although we can’t comment on this particular application as it is still open, we as a council don’t approve everything that comes in.

“We always consider the appropriateness of the application and impact on the local community and environment.

“For example, a number of planning applications for housing developments in the Potton area that Councillor Zerny mentions were rejected by us as a council. These were refused because they would have a detrimental effect on the open countryside, would impact on the existing built areas in Potton, and would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area and its wider landscape.”

The council went on to state that developments in Potton are often out of their control.

“Disappointingly, sometimes the government’s planning inspector has given more weight to the government’s drive to provide more housing than to our concerns on the local impact and have overruled the council’s decision at appeal,” its spokeswoman said.

“This has meant that there has been more housing development in Potton and in some other settlements in Central Bedfordshire than we as a council would have planned for.”

The council is hoping the new Local Plan – which has also come under criticism from Mr Zerny – will reduce this problem, and strengthen the council’s case when developers mount appeals.

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