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The return of Greenwoods New Town

23rd May 2022

Last year CPRE Bedfordshire worked with local action group, ‘No to Greenwoods New Town’ to help people respond to a proposed development near Wrest Park.

The application was withdrawn following a letter from the Planning Officer which highlighted “a significant number of issues with the planning application”.

Earlier this month a new planning application for the same site between Barton Le Clay and Wrest Park, was submitted. The new application is for up to 3,750 new homes, a care home, schools, large solar park (up to 16 ha), along with retail, employment and community spaces.

Outline of the proposed development site

The consultation is now open and runs until 22nd June 2022.

CPRE Bedfordshire has significant concerns about the development and are encouraging our members, supporters and the general public to submit objections to Central Bedfordshire Council via Planning.Online@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Objection submissions should clearly state “I object to the development” otherwise it will be treated as a comment. Anyone over the age of 18 can object. Make sure you include the reference CB/22/01804/OUT.

Objections should be made on planning grounds and we highlight some of these below.

Illustrative Masterplan. The Long Water and Archer Pavilion at Wrest Park can be seen centre top.

Harm to the character and appearance of the landscape

The proposal would significantly harm the undeveloped and open character of the countryside, Green Belt and the Chilterns ANOB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The landscape and buildings at Wrest Park are of historic interest and the development will impact on views from the AONB, including Barton Hills, Sharpenhoe Clappers and the Pegsdon Hills. The area is also home to a wide range of wildlife.

 

Loss of Greenbelt

The southern region of the site is Greenbelt. The proposed development would see the loss of 72 ha, the site as a whole is 290 ha so Greenbelt land accounts for about a quarter of the site.

 

Local Plan

This large-scale development has not been selected or included in the adopted Local Plan and therefore CPRE Bedfordshire consider that to grant such an application in open countryside, and outside of the settlement envelopes of Shillington, Gravenhurst and Barton, undermines the principal of having an adopted Local Plan in place. There is no justification for the application to be approved as the Local Plan addresses identified housing needs up to 2035 comprising in excess of 44,000 homes including a contribution in meeting Luton’s unmet need.

 

Agricultural land

The land proposed for development consists of what is known as the Best and Most Versatile (BMV) agricultural land Grades 2 and 3, which is offered protection within National Planning Policy Framework.

 

We will make our full response available here in due course.

 

Read more

Our original story on Greenwoods from 2021

Greenwoods New Town in photos – exploring the landscape

Our feature on Central Bedfordshire Council and the Greenbelt

Join the No to Greenwoods Facebook Group

Full details of Planning Application CB/22/01804/OUT 

Case documents relating to the application

 

We’ll keep standing up for the Bedfordshire countryside. Want to stand with us? Sign up now for monthly news on our work or join us as a member from just £3 a month.

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