'Horrible cramped housing' plans rejected by council

Plans for housing development in Arlesey, hailed 'horrible and cramped' have been unanimously rejected

Plans for housing development in Arlesey, hailed 'horrible and cramped' have been unanimously rejected - Credit: Archant

Plans for 20 affordable homes on land off Cricketers Road in Arlesey have been refused, but will be subject to appeal for not being considered in time by the local authority.

Grand Union Housing Group’s scheme was described as “horrible cramped housing” by Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive member for regeneration and planning Kevin Collins.

The project would consist of eight social rent properties and 12 under shared ownership on one-and-a-half acres of rough grassland with trees and shrubs.

It would be a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses with access to the site from Cricketers Road.

A date has yet to be fixed for the appeal. The application was determined by CBC’s development management committee, which is obliged to resolve it, on Wednesday, August 3.

Arlesey Town Council raised a number of objections, including this being “premature before the delivery of the relief road, with which it should connect”.

This site is allocated for development under CBC site allocations dating back to 2011, according to a report to councillors.

While recognising the social and economic benefits of the scheme, the report explained it “wouldn’t accord with the development plan”.

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The recommended reasons for refusal “relate to the poor quality layout and conflict with the Arlesey Cross master plan, the impact on neighbouring properties and the poor living environment for future residents”.

There would be “insufficient provision for protected species, surface water and foul drainage and a lack of legal agreement to secure planning obligations to mitigate the impact on the surrounding infrastructure”.

“The applicant was advised during the early stages of various concerns with the proposals, including the conflict with the Arlesey Cross master plan,” added the report.

Conservative Dunstable Watling councillor Nigel Young said: “We find ourselves in a position where 20 valuable affordable homes aren’t coming forward.

“If they’re as bad as it says in paragraph two of the report that would be right and proper.”

The committee unanimously refused the development, with that resolution forming the basis of CBC’s defence case at the appeal.