Inspectors hear objections to housing allocation for Linslade Green Belt site

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

Campaigners have voiced their concerns to a Government inspector over plans to build 55 homes on a piece of Green Belt land in Linslade.

Land north of Soulbury Road has been included in the submitted Central Beds Council’s Local Plan, a move which left the community aghast when the designation for development was first discovered last year.

The examination of CBC’s submitted Local Plan by two Government inspectors began at Chicksands on May 21 with the sessions lasting a number of weeks.

The Soulbury Road site is classified under ‘small and medium allocations’, with town councillor Clive Palmer telling the LBO that the 1.73 hectare parcel of land was discussed on yesterday (Thursday), with both himself and Linslade campaigner Tom Daly addressing the inspectors.

Cllr Palmer quickly organised a petition last year upon learning of what he called a “ludicrous” decision by CBC to include Soulbury Road in the Local Plan as potentially suitable for 55 homes. He said: “I mentioned Green Belt issues [to the inspector], the previous rejection to development on the site by Central Beds Council and the town council’s longstanding opposition to any development, plus the impact on Linslade Wood.

“There are several species of bats in the wood and CBC doesn’t appear to have done a full ecological study.”

It’s now a waiting game to find out the outcome of the Local Plan examination and whether local opposition to the Soulbury Road site has any bearing.

Cllr Palmer said: “This is just one small part of the Local Plan, there’s still a few weeks to go. Then the inspector will go away to consider it. It could be a few months before we find out.”