Council refuses planning permission for housing development on Bower Lane in Eaton Bray

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Central Bedfordshire Council has refused planning permission for the Bower Lane Development in Eaton Bray.

A village campaign group set up to fight a residential scheme, this week welcomed the news that the council has refused planning permission to build 120 dwellings on land at Bower Lane, in Eaton Bray. A notice of refusal of planning permission from Central Bedfordshire Council said: “The site lies within the South Bedfordshire Green Belt and the proposal would comprise inappropriate development within the Green Belt and would be harmful by reason of inappropriateness, significant loss of openness and by conflict with the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

“The proposed development would result in the loss of grade 2 and grade 3a agricultural land and, by virtue of its open countryside location, the scale of development, the loss of characteristic pasture land and the site’s relationship with other built development and the open countryside; would result in harm to the character and appearance of the site and its surrounding and the relationship of the site and the neighbouring existing settlement with the immediate and wider landscape.

“The development would fail to make an acceptable contribution towards local affordable housing stock, and would fail to mitigate the impacts of the development on local infrastructure.”

A statement on the campaign group’s website said: “I’m sure that many of you will be happy to hear that CBC has refused planning permission for the Bower Lane development.

“This decision was made on a number of points including conflict with the purposes of the greenbelt, insufficient arguments made by the developers to warrant harm to the greenbelt, the loss of agricultural land, the scale of the development, the harm to the character and appearance of the site, and the lack of legal agreement on either the provision of affordable housing or contributions to mitigate the impact of the development on the local infrastructure.

“After reading the comments from CBC, I can only believe the response from the village and surrounding communities played a major part in this. By the time of the decision, we had an astounding 580 people take the time and effort to share their objections with CBC.

“The developers are well within their rights to appeal. But this couldn’t be a better first step, and if we need to campaign again, we’re more than ready to do so.”

> A planning application from Willis Dawson Ltd to build 58 homes on land at Eaton Park, in Eaton Bray, is still being considered by Central Bedfordshire Council.