Housing plans in Eaton Bray back yet again

Grassland at the centre of the proposed development
Grassland at the centre of the proposed development

Plans have been resubmitted to build a housing estate on Green Belt land in Eaton Bray – prompting over 150 letters of objection from the public.

A 2014 application by Amberville Properties to build 150 houses off Totternhoe Road and The Rye was rejected after it was discovered the site encompassed medieval earthworks, among other things.

Now the developer is back with an application for 145 homes, described as “good family accomodation” on the exact same site.

This time, Amberville Properties is proposing to yield 30% of the new homes as affordable housing, as well as a promise of Section 106 contributions – which were lacking in the last application.

But beyond that, residents have been left wondering what’s new.

One woman said: “None of the reasons for refusing the original application have been addressed.”

Besides the medieval earthworks and missing Section 106 agreements, Central Beds Council’s refusal of the original application highlighted the adverse impact of the development on the landscape, as well as a number of other objections.

It stated: “No very special circumstances have been established in this case to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.”

It added that there were “limited facilities” in Eaton Bray for the development and expressed concerns about the impact on Park Farm moated site – described as “a designated heritage asset of the highest significance.”

Amberville Properties’ agent LMR Designs – who also represented the company during the previous application – was contacted but did not respond.

Their design and access statement observed: “While the site is open land it is surrounded, to a large degree, by established development in residential use.”

A decision is expected to be reached by May 19.