Success in Willington

30th March 2020

Planning permission has been refused following a CPRE Bedfordshire call in request.

In December 2019 CPRE Bedfordshire asked the Secretary of State, to use his legal powers to review Bedford Borough Council’s decision to approve a planning application in Willington (18/03161/MAO land rear of 16 to 26 Grange Way). The Call-In request was made to support Willington Parish Council’s ambition to decide where development takes place in their community through their Neighbourhood Plan.

At the Planning Committee meeting in October 2019, Bedford Borough Council had taken the view that they had no choice but to agree the application, because perverse government guidance instructed that the Borough’s planning policies should be seen as out of date until their Local Plan 2030 was in place. This meant that the application was determined against national policy, which provides a lower level of protection against speculative applications.

In response to the Call-In request the Secretary of State issued an order to put the decision on hold and in February referred the matter back to the Borough Council to look at again. By this time the Local Plan 2030 had been agreed and the application was determined against the Council’s new policies and refused.

CPRE Bedfordshire are delighted that common sense has ultimately prevailed and attempts to subvert local democracy have been overcome on this occasion.

The Grange Estate, near Willington
Quernmore landscape