Homes threat to Stotfold green space

The old playing field of the former Roecroft Lower School in Stotfold

The old playing field of the former Roecroft Lower School in Stotfold - Credit: Archant

There are plans for more homes to be built in a town despite widespread opposition.

At a Stotfold Town Council meeting last week, planners from Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) presented a proposal to build 25 new houses on the old playing fields of the former Roecroft Lower School site in Church Road, Stotfold.

Cllr Brian Saunders said: “CBC presented two ideas for this land, one for 23 homes and one for 25. This site is already proposed in the local development framework.

“Like everyone else I would prefer it to be open space if possible, but I am not sure that this will happen because of its designation in the current plan.”

Cllr Larry Stoter, who was also at the meeting, said the town council was fairly unanimous in its objection.

“There are no recreational spaces in that part of Stotfold and it would be everybody’s wish that this is used as a recreational space,” he said.

“Ironically, CBC’s draft leisure policy highlights the lack of recreational areas for young people in Stotfold. Here is an ideal spot to benefit both the council’s policies and local residents, but it seems to be a problem in CBC that the different departments do not talk to each other.

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“It was also pointed out the approach road, Church Road, is very narrow and winding. A bus tried to get down there last week and got stuck for half-an-hour so an extra 40 or 50 cars would cause chaos.

“CBC have designated the land, but nobody in Stotfold wants this developed. If it has to be designated as building land, then I would prefer it was used as sheltered housing for the benefit of the local community.”

Although the majority of the town councillors present at the meeting spoke against the proposals, the decision rests with CBC.

Resident Pam Manfield said: “Residents do not want to lose one of the few green spaces in this area of Stotfold. It’s currently a lovely green field with mature trees – a real asset to residents and ripe for development into a local play area. Stotfold has already had thousands of new houses and we are fast losing our green areas. We don’t want to lose another.”

The Comet contacted CBC but it is yet to comment.

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