72-home village development refused planning permission

Central Bedfordshire Council's planning committee has rejected a housing development in Shillington

Central Bedfordshire Council's planning committee has rejected a housing development in Shillington - Credit: Archant

Plans for up to 72 homes on agricultural land in Shillington have been refused on the casting vote of a committee chairman.

Applicant Self-Build-Developments.co.uk Limited submitted outline proposals for the housing on 15 acres of land off Hanscombe End Road.

The project includes 35 self-build, custom build and small or medium enterprise units, according to a report to Central Bedfordshire Council’s development management committee.

Planning officer Peter Vosper described the site as “undeveloped agricultural land”, saying: “There would be up to 24 affordable properties and up to 13 plots for anyone aged over 55.

“A new access would be created from Hanscombe End Road. It’s unacceptable in principle because of its location in open countryside and outside the settlement envelope.

“The layout would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the countryside, landscape and village of Shillington.

“It would extend to the back of established recent housing by about 200m and would result in harm to the historic environment, as well as the loss of the best grades of agricultural land.”

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Shillington parish councillor Derek Turner suggested the scheme would cause “immense damage” to the village, saying: “It’s completely out of style compared with all the other developments during the last 30 years.

“It’s six times larger than the site waiting to be developed in the CBC Local Plan and would dominate the village.”

Val Colby for the applicant said: “This proposes types of housing unmet in your area with affordable and retirement housing, along with self-build plots.

“The local authority is required by government to provide self-build plots. There’s a substantial level of unmet need in Central Bedfordshire.

“Bungalows are rarely provided in large housing schemes, but they’re part of this one.

“It’s a carbon neutral project. It’s delivering housing for the future. Around 150 trees will be planted to set the new homes under a green canopy.”

Councillors voted five in favour of refusal and five against, with Conservative Sandy councillor Caroline Maudlin using her casting vote to reject the development.