Planning permission for 32 homes at Langford

A scheme for 32 homes has been approved for Langford. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A scheme for 32 homes has been approved for Langford. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An outline scheme to build 32 homes at Langford has been approved by Central Bedfordshire councillors.

Although the housing at St Andrew’s Way is outside the village envelope, council planning officer Stuart Robinson last night said there will be “no significant encroachment into the countryside”.

But Langford Parish Council objects to the application, according to its vice-chairman John Shipman – who asked for the plans to be rejected.

“It’s outside the settlement envelope,” he told Central Bedfordshire Council’s development management committee.

“It’s urbanisation of the open countryside, which would be irreversible and harmful.

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“This site is not identified in the draft local plan. East Road is narrow and there would be excessive congestion.”

He referred to 263 homes being built locally in the last two years, with a further 95 proposed shortly.

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“That’s 358 properties in six separate applications,” he said. “This is increasing housing here by 27 per cent,” he said.

“It’s a huge burden on the village and its resources. It’s putting unsustainable pressure on village services and the roads.

“There would be significant pre-school and junior school capacity to be met. There would be overloading on the drainage and sewerage, and the need for healthcare provision.

“There’s no increase in the infrastructure locally for 358 homes. The parish council has spoken to the council and the police about HGVs and speeding vehicle. This will result in more traffic and make it worse.”

Local resident Katy Holmes warned that bungalows in Church Street will be “overlooked and exposed” by the housing looking on to them.

She asked for single-storey buildings to back on to the existing single-storey development if the proposals went ahead.

“It’s no more than a private money-making venture,” she said. “I would have expected more courtesy, such as bungalows closest to those already there.

“The open access afforded part of the privilege of living there. When you come to sell it will be detrimental to the sale, and there’s no compensation for that loss.”

She also said anyone working from home locally would have to tolerate machinery noise, shouting and loud radios, as well as dust and dirt.

And she described the addition of more than 350 homes locally as “overpopulating a small village”.

“With so many in such a short space of time, how can the local facilities cope?” she asked. “I hope you understand and take the opposition seriously.”

Conservative Dunstable Watling councillor Nigel Young said the bungalows issue could be taken into account when the detailed layout is submitted.

Mr Robinson admitted there has been substantial growth in Langford in recent years, but said there were no objections from the authority’s departments.

“It’s quite well-shielded regarding the local landscape,” he added.

Conservative Cranfield and Marston Mortaine councillor Sue Clark said: “It doesn’t make sense when you read the local plan over development areas, only for other sites to be considered for housing by this committee.

“To the public it simply does not make sense. We’re going forward with a plan, and debating sites which aren’t within the plan. We have to determine how we go about these sites in future.”

Councillors approved the plans for 32 properties by six votes to three.

• Editor’s note (July 3): A previous version of this article incorrectly named the planning officer dealing with the application as Stuart Kemp rather than Stuart Robinson. This has now been corrected.

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