Stotfold school plans given green light as town council considers legal action

PUBLISHED: 16:37 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 23 August 2019

Pix Brook Academy will be built on land off Arlesey Road in Stotfold, subject to planning permission being granted. Picture: Google

Pix Brook Academy will be built on land off Arlesey Road in Stotfold, subject to planning permission being granted. Picture: Google

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Stotfold Town Council may take legal action against Central Bedfordshire Council over plans for access to a new school close to a small area of land it leases.

The town council says it should have been formally served notice by CBC about the plans for the secondary school.

According to a report to CBC'S development management committee, Stotfold council "holds an interest in part of the application site".

But planning officers consider the claim "in terms of the access to a football pitch is not one which requires a notice to be served" as part of the application process.

The 19-acre Arlesey Road site is an agricultural field which is "outside the defined settlement envelope of Stotfold", said the report.

The proposed school would be two and three-storey high, with sports pitches and parking for cars, coaches and bicycles.

Town councillor and deputy mayor Brian Collier told the committee an owner is defined as "one with a freehold interest or a leasehold interest of at least seven years".

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He said: "We must be issued with a certificate B (notice). If this is not done the town council will take steps to seek a judicial review because the applicant, CBC, has not followed proper processes."

Conservative Cranfield and Marston Moretaine councillor Ken Matthews replied: "I think the Certificate B issue needs to be sorted."

Planning officer Martin Plummer told the committee Stotfold's new football stadium is being built to the south of the site.

The town council thinks it should have received notice because of the tenancy arrangement it has in relation to the football stadium, he explained.

"I don't think we'll debate that issue," said councillor Matthews, who chairs the committee.

"We will debate the application. If subsequently you - Mr Collier - feel you are in the right, then do what you need to do."

Chartered planner Mike Jones said Pixbrook Academy free school will have sixth form entry and will be funded by the Department for Education.

Four letters of objection were submitted to the planning application, however councillors approved the project with ten votes in favour, none against and three abstentions.

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