Dismay in Linslade over lack of change to Local Plan

Land north of Soulbury Road, Linslade
Land north of Soulbury Road, Linslade

Central Bedfordshire Council will be looking to authorise the submission of its Local Plan to the Government on Thursday – but the proposed modifications do not include a change of heart regarding Green Belt land in Linslade.

Following public consultation, CBC has made a number of tweaks to the document, but that hasn’t involved a change of heart over land north of Soulbury Road.

The move to potentially build 55 homes on the 1.73 hectare site has come in for fierce criticism and a petition with 429 signatories was presented to Central Beds Council in February asking that the council remove the land from the list of areas allocated for future development.

Town councillor Clive Palmer, Southcott ward, who took the petition to Chicksands by hand, said: “It appears there are no significant modifications proposed to the draft which was consulted on at the beginning of the year, and that the allocation of Green Belt land in Linslade to the north of Soulbury Road for housing development remains in the plan exactly as before.

“This is profoundly disappointing and frustrating, given the many hundreds of local residents who objected to this proposed allocation and the overwhelming evidence which backed these objections – its Green Belt location, the detrimental landscape impact, the harm to Linslade Wood and its bird and animal life in particular, infrastructure issues, the inconsistency of the proposal with previous analysis of the site in question and planning decisions, Leighton-Linslade Town Council opposition to the development.”

“I have contacted local Linslade Central Bedfordshire councillors, and some others, in the hope that they may be able to convey the level and intensity of local dissatisfaction, although I suspect we will now, of necessity, have to focus future attention and efforts on the Examination in Public which will follow the Plan’s submission.”

The council is aiming to submit its plan to the Secretary of State on April 30, assuming approval at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The council said it received more than 6,275 representations during the pre-submission Local Plan consultation, which was held this year during January and February.

It says: “In response to this feedback, the report to Full Council recommends minor modifications to the Local Plan. If approved by councillors, these recommendations will be sent to an independent Planning Inspector to review ahead of a public examination hearing.”