Plans to build a link road from Shenley Hill Road to Heath Road in Leighton Buzzard have been submitted alongside an application to build up to 253 homes.
Arnold Whites Estates already has permission for up to 950 properties at Chamberlain’s Barn and has now put forward two further applications on land which also lies within the former quarry.
AWE has told Central Beds Council that the North Chamberlain’s Barn site would contribute to the strategic urban extension to the east of Leighton Linslade which comprises the 950 homes permitted at Chamberlain’s Barn, 1,280 at Clipstone Park and 270 at the Stearn land.
It says the link road would be an extension to the route of the Chamberlain’s Barn spine road which was given permission in 2015, and be an alternative route for traffic which currently travels through Heath and Reach.
The chances of the outline permission for housing being granted have been boosted in recent weeks with the inclusion of the site in CBC’s Pre-Submission Local Plan which would confirm its exclusion from the Green Belt, on adoption of the Plan.
AWE state: “The identification of the site at Northern Chamberlain’s Barn in the Pre-Submission Local Plan is a clear demonstration of the council’s acceptance that the land is suitable, in principle, for residential development. As set out in the Planning Statement accompanying the applications, the residential site is capable of immediate delivery to assist the council in meeting its housing needs in the short term (facilitated by the application for the link road).”
The application site differs from the Pre-Submission Local Plan site as it follows “a more logical western boundary” running alongside Cotefield Drive, and hence up to 253 homes are proposed compared to CBC’s Plan suggestion of 175. The 76 affordable units put forward will address a “chronic” need in Central Beds.
AWE adds: “Numerous recent statements of Government policy highlight the national importance being attributed to
delivering housing, and quickly. These applications accord with the thrust of Government policy, seeking to make better use of land which is already part of a consented development and for which wider services and facilities are already proposed to be provided.
“These applications facilitate early delivery of housing (including affordable housing) in a location which has already been accepted as sustainable.”
Sand extraction at the quarry stopped in 2014 when Sibelco found that they had taken all of the economically viable reserves.
Restoration of the site is due to be completed by early 2018 and AWE says the initial phase of the approved spine road and the provision of services will have been completed by mid-2018, with phase one housing available for sale by autumn 2018.
AWE said: “The applicant is committed to bringing forward all its sites in the shortest possible time. Indeed, the ground engineering works required to restore the Chamberlain’s Barn site are well advanced; work on the Eastern Distributor Road (at Heath Road) has commenced; and contracts have been exchanged with a quality national housebuilder which will enable the submission of a reserved matters application on the first phase of Chamberlain’s Barn shortly.”
But AWE says there will be significant delays to its Clipstone Park development due to infrastructure capacity/delivery issues, particularly with electricity and broadband.