Plans for 150 homes and new school site in Shefford approved

PUBLISHED: 08:21 10 November 2018

Plans for up to 150 new homes in Shefford have been approved. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Plans for up to 150 new homes in Shefford have been approved. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Plans for up to 150 new homes and a new school site on land west of Hitchin Road in Shefford have been approved.

Plans for up to 150 new homes and a new school site on land west of Hitchin Road in Shefford have been approved.

The outline scheme by Warden Developments Limited involves demolishing some buildings on the site and putting in a roundabout on Hitchin Road.

But the original intention to knock down 19 Queen Elizabeth Close is due to be removed when the detailed proposals are submitted.

Shefford town councillor Ken Pollard said to the meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s development management committee on Wednesday that there were “discrepancies between the planning statement prepared by Phillips Planning Services Limited and the archaeological report of Heritage Network.

“PPS, for the applicant, identifies the site as a low risk area for archaeological importance, which contradicts the findings of Heritage Network,” he said.

“It shows the site to be of high local and regional archaeological significance with development of the site having a negative impact on the remains from the Iron Age, as well as Roman remains.”

Other concerns of the parish council were the demands on Shefford Health Centre, the insufficient sewerage network and inadequate access from Hitchin Road for the amount of traffic.

Conservative Shefford councillor Mark Liddiard told the committee that there are 429 children at the current lower school out of a 450 capacity, as well as 63 in the nursery, and the site can’t be expanded.

A separate application will be submitted for the new school in due course, which is forecast to cost £6m to £7m.

Conservative Stotfold and Langford councillor Steve Dixon said there is concern about school places in Shefford.

He said: “That’s because we’ve had random applications put forward placing huge pressure on the education system in the Shefford area.”

There will be a demand for 2021, but it could be that detailed issues aren’t finished until 2022, explained councillor Dixon.

Conservative councillor Nigel Young asked for the five-year delivery allocation for the housing to be reduced, and Mr Plummer said talks would be held with the applicant about this.

Councillors approved the application with 11 votes in favour, none against and one abstention.

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