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CPRE Bedfordshire condemns the actions of Central Bedfordshire Council as anti-democratic

Monday, 11 February 2019 09:53

CPRE Bedfordshire condemns the actions of Central Bedfordshire Council as anti-democratic

 

CPRE Bedfordshire condemns the actions of Central Bedfordshire Council as anti-democratic for approving an application for 1,500 new homes East of Biggleswade at a meeting of their Development Management Committee on the 6 February 2019

 

CPRE Bedfordshire condemns the actions of Central Bedfordshire Council as anti-democratic for approving  Planning Application 18/02458/OUT (East of Baden Powell Way) for 1,500 new homes East of Biggleswade at a meeting of their Development Management Committee on the 6 February 2019.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC’s) action in approving the above planning application just 8 weeks away from the start of the “Public Hearing” into their Local Plan 2035, is condemned by CPRE Bedfordshire as a flagrant subversion of the democratic process. Trampling on the rights of the people of Biggleswade and others who were opposed to this development.


This development of 1,500 new homes is not a small application it represents a community the size of a large village or around 40% the size of Ampthill.


CBC has already submitted its Local Plan 2035 for approval by a Government Appointed Inspector. The Inspector is expected to start a Public Hearing to consider the Plan in the spring – just 8 weeks away!


The “East of Biggleswade” development is a Key Policy within the Local Plan – Policy SA4. When CBC submitted its Local Plan for approval it entered into a democratic process enabling all those who object to, or approve of, Policy SA4, to make their case in public in front of the Inspector. The Inspector will then decide, if Policy SA4 should be approved or not.


CBC’s approval of the application is a subversion of this democratic process – depriving the people of Biggleswade and others of their democratic right to have their say on this important Policy. CPRE Bedfordshire believes that CBC had plenty of opportunity to refuse the application on the grounds of “Prematurity” i.e. that the Local Plan has been submitted and is in the process of being considered by the Inspector, and that the proposed development was a Key Policy within the Local Plan.


A spokesperson from CPRE Bedfordshire said:

“The actions of CBC show a flagrant disregard for the democratic rights of the residents of Biggleswade, Sutton and elsewhere who wished to have their say in public, in front of the Inspector. This decision by CBC has trampled on the rights of residents. Why on earth should CBC Councillors and the Local Plan process ever be trusted again by Town & Parish Councils or residents? CBC should stand up for the democratic rights of the people they were elected to represent.”


CPRE Bedfordshire spoke at the Development Management Committee Meeting opposing the application. A copy of our presentation to the Committee can be downloaded at the bottom of the page, along with a copy of CPRE’s Formal letter of objection to the application.

Downloads:

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