‘Once it’s gone it’s gone’ – Rallying cry to residents to stand up against Biggleswade house building plans at Monday meeting

A map showing the sites that have been put forward for possible development in Biggleswade (shaded i

A map showing the sites that have been put forward for possible development in Biggleswade (shaded in red) and areas alraedy being developed (shaded in purple) - Credit: Archant

People need to stand up and speak out to stop Biggleswade losing hundreds of acres of Green Belt land to housing, campaigners have said.

An urgent meeting for residents has been called to discuss the thousands of homes planned by Central Beds Council, which those in opposition say would result in the complete ‘overdevelopment’ of the town.

Central Bedfordshire District Council’s Local Plan has now been published as a draft document, so this is a critical moment for people to comment on it before it is redrafted and presented to a government planning inspector for consideration.

Now campaigners, including residents and some local councillors, have issued a rallying call to residents to attend the meeting on Monday, saying: “If we do nothing, we will lose these areas to development. Once it’s gone it’s gone!”

They say Biggleswade is already “suffering from overdevelopment” because the town has expanded by 40 per cent over the last six years without new infrastructure being put in place.

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They believe the new housing could lead to an further 35,000 cars using an “inadequate” road network and say the current house building boom has seen a huge increase in traffic.

Campaigners say most of the new housing will be built on grade 1 and 2 agricultural land and that all the proposed housing sites are earmarked for Green Belt land rather than the brownfield sites the government suggests.

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The proposed plan includes 3,000 new homes and 11 acres of employment development to the east of Biggleswade which will be split between four new villages, 7,000 homes and 11 acres of employment development at Tempsford to the north of Sandy and 2,000 homes and seven acres of employment development to the east of Arlesey.

Possible new sites for housing developments have also been suggested in a swathe across Biggleswade to the north of Potton Road, which could see an estimated 4,500 homes. These sites may not be built on, but it does mean developers have the option of looking at them.

This adds to the 2,100 homes currently being constructed at King’s Reach and 343 homes currently being built to the north of Potton Road.

Anyone likely to be affected by these major developments is invited to attend the meeting which will take place on Monday in the Purcell Room at the Weatherly Centre in Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade. It starts at 7pm.

Full details of the draft Local Plan are available at www.centralbeds.gov.uk and you can also make comments on the plan via the website or by writing to Central Beds Council.

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