Central Beds is out of step with our town’s needs, say Biggleswade town councillors after considering homes and parking plans

Madeline Russell

Madeline Russell - Credit: Archant

Biggleswade town councillors were left unimpressed when they considered a series of key plans and strategies put forward by Central Beds Council on Tuesday.

Biggleswade needs more infrastructure before more homes can be built, according to town councillors.

Biggleswade needs more infrastructure before more homes can be built, according to town councillors. - Credit: Archant

At a full council meeting, members looked at plans for 230 homes east of Saxon Drive, a car parking strategy for the district, and the Biggleswade Community Plan which links into the Central Beds Local Plan.

The homes are the first to be put forward on the eastern side of the former ‘eastern relief road’, now Saxon Drive – which planners once said would never be crossed with development.

The fact the homes would be built by developers on land owned by Central Beds has already sparked opposition in the town.

Town councillors voted unanimously to object to the plans on Tuesday, although Central Beds will have the ultimate say.

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Town councillor Madeline Russell told the Comet: “We’re objecting on the grounds that the homes are across the development boundary and are on agricultural land.

“In its planning strategy Central Beds highlights the importance of not building on agricultural land, so how can it now consider building homes there?

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“Also, the town lacks the infrastructure to cope with more homes.

“The doctor’s surgery is oversubscribed, and all but one of the schools have already been extended.

“The town has almost doubled in size over the past 10 years and we need time to catch up with the development we already have.”

The town council is also concerned because yet more land east of the town is earmarked for development in the proposed sites for homes being put forward for the Central Beds Local Plan.

If these sites are accepted, developers will be asked to come forward with possible planning applications.

Councillors also considered a draft parking strategy consultation put forward by Central Beds to try to address parking needs in the district.

Mrs Russell said the council felt the strategy ‘doesn’t in any way’ address the parking problems in Biggleswade, and a meeting of a town council working group will put their responses in writing,

The town council has long called for more car parking space, and wants to see funding set aside for a multi-storey car park in the town centre.

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