Flitwick

Showing comments and forms 1 to 21 of 21

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 1194

Received: 17/08/2017

Respondent: Mr George Preston

Representation:

Flitwick/ Ampthill needs an affordable supermarket e.g a Lidl of Aldi, especially with all the new homes being built, a poor Tesco and an overpriced Waitrose is just not good enough. Discounter would be delighted to open up in area, give them a chance and over stretched family's will be able to have a choice . I talk to many people in the community and they all feel the same, but as usual do nothing about it.

Full text:

Flitwick/ Ampthill needs an affordable supermarket e.g a Lidl of Aldi, especially with all the new homes being built, a poor Tesco and an overpriced Waitrose is just not good enough. Discounter would be delighted to open up in area, give them a chance and over stretched family's will be able to have a choice . I talk to many people in the community and they all feel the same, but as usual do nothing about it.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 2189

Received: 25/08/2017

Respondent: City & County Projects

Agent: Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd

Representation:

See full representation

Full text:

These representations are submitted on behalf of City and County Projects, who are promoting a site east of Chauntry Way, Flitwick (Reference NLP245) as detailed in the Call for Sites submission for it. Separate representations having been submitted on the Draft Local Plan ('DLP') and Technical Documents published with it that are relevant to our clients' interests. These include a Green Belt Statement prepared by James Blake Associates in response to the conclusions of the Green Belt Review.

City and County Projects object to the method adopted to the assessment/sieving process in the Site Assessment Technical Document (SATD) in respect of sites currently within the Green Belt, and particularly the conclusions reached in respect of site NLP245 that, as a consequence of the approach taken, it should not be considered further as part of the Local Plan.

In particular our clients object to the answer in response to Question 14 on the Site Assessment Form for this land that it does not lie within one of the parcels which have been identified in the Green Belt Review as making only a relatively weak, weak or no contribution to the purposes of including land within the Green Belt. Separate representations, including the enclosed Green Belt Statement, have been submitted objecting to the conclusions of the Green Belt Study on parcel FW1 and particularly the failure to separately identify our parcel NLP245 as one performing weaker than the wider land parcel in the way that has been done so for other Green Belt parcels.

The Green Belt Statement by JBA provides a robust and objective assessment of the extent to which site NLP245 contributes to the purposes of including land in the Green Belt, finding as follows:

* The site does not fulfil the purposes of preventing the sprawl of a large built up area - the same conclusion was reached in the Green Belt Study on parcel FW1

* The contribution the site makes to preventing neighbouring towns from merging into each other should be 'relatively weak'. This is due to the strong visual barrier already created by existing trees along the A507 corridor and as development of the site would not make the existing gap any smaller.

* The Green Belt Study assessed the whole of land parcel FW1 as making a 'relatively weak' contribution to preserving the setting of Ampthill. This is also true of site NLP245 in isolation.

* The contribution site NLP245 makes in isolation to safeguarding the countryside from encroachment is considered to be relatively weak, compared to the moderate contribution the wider parcel FW1 makes. This is because site NLP245 is visually more closely associated with the urban area of Flitwick than it is with the rural Green Belt. It is visually separated from the open countryside by the belt of trees that runs along a small watercourse on the western boundary. Furthermore, development of the site would extend the village envelope little further to the east than the extent of the built up area to the immediate south (made up of the dwellings on Admiral Row and roads off it) and the football club facilities to the immediate north.

It demonstrates that there are very strong arguments that the site should be removed from the Green Belt and considered for allocation for new housing. It also illustrates that a robust new Green Belt boundary could be created at the eastern edge of the site utilising the existing physical feature of the water course and associated tree belt, which would provide an enduring new boundary.

In respect of Question 15, paragraph 4.3.30 of the SATD explains the sustainability criteria that have been used to filter out the most sustainable sites and confirms that sites which do not meet all three criteria have been excluded. Site NLP245 meets 2 of the 3 criteria in that it adjoins Flitwick, which has three or more of the key local service identified (and in actual fact, considerably more) and also has a mainline railway station.

The other criterion is whether the site makes a contribution of 100 or more dwellings to need in the Luton Housing Market Area. Whilst in isolation the site is likely to deliver around 75 - 85 dwellings at current typical development densities, and notwithstanding the fact that 100 dwelling figure is a completely arbitrary figure with no real basis, the SATD ignores that the adjoining parcel of land to the north, NLP375, has also been put forward through the Call for Sites and that collectively they would easily provide over 100 dwellings in this location.

The Council has previously asked separate promoters to work together on schemes, for example the land at Warren Farm, Ampthill currently being built out with around 400 dwellings. Our client and the promoters of site NLP375 have already held discussions and are happy to commit working together to bring forward a comprehensive scheme that also includes the land to the south of parcel NLP245, so the threshold of 100 units is achievable and should not be a reason for the land being rule out at Stage 1e of the assessment process.

Failing to allocate the site for this reason would be irrational and could result in a less sustainable site being developed as a consequence, meaning the Local Plan would not be justified as required by the Framework.

Both the Luton HMA Growth Options Study and the Settlements Capacity Initial Study add weight to the case for the allocation of this land, concluding that Flitwick has capacity for medium to large scale growth and that development to the north east of the town would avoid environmental constraints elsewhere around it.

No other issues were raised as part of the Stage 1 Assessment, with this confirming that the site is well related to the existing settlement and that there would be no coalescence issues from its development. In respect of the questions posed at Stages 2 and 3, which the site did not progress to, there are no issues that would not be address as part of the supporting information with a future planning application in the normal manner.

City and County Projects are committed to developing the site and it is therefore achievable. It is respectfully requested that this land is reconsidered for inclusion in the Local Plan as part of the next stage of preparation.

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 3618

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Sam Franklin

Agent: Mr Sam Franklin

Representation:

An ideal and sustainable location for a small scale infill development that would minimise traffic generation through the centre of the town.

Full text:

NLP444 and ALP375
The site is in an ideal location for sustainable development, with good access to the school and services locally.

This site would be well related to the existing settlement and would round off the edge of the settlement in Flitwick, it would be ideal for low cost housing or older persons properties. It does not have any impact on coalescence between Ampthill & Flitwick as the A507 is there and now the recently built football club and pitches which provide a permanent divide.
It would not be a back land development as it is no further away from transport links, schools, doctors surgery and shops than the new development on Steppingley Road.
There would be easy access through Chauntry Way and would provide a more community feel to the existing properties which are made up of Housing Association and market housing.

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4102

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Endurance Estates

Representation:

See attached concerning land at Flitwick

Full text:

See attached comments

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4734

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Sam Franklin

Agent: Mr Sam Franklin

Representation:

An ideal and sustainable location for a small scale infill development that would minimise traffic generation through the centre of the town.

Full text:

NLP444 and ALP375
The site is in an ideal location for sustainable development, with good access to the school and services locally.

This site would be well related to the existing settlement and would round off the edge of the settlement in Flitwick, it would be ideal for low cost housing or older persons properties. It does not have any impact on coalescence between Ampthill & Flitwick as the A507 is there and now the recently built football club and pitches which provide a permanent divide.
It would not be a back land development as it is no further away from transport links, schools, doctors surgery and shops than the new development on Steppingley Road.
There would be easy access through Chauntry Way and would provide a more community feel to the existing properties which are made up of Housing Association and market housing.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4799

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Hugh Jackson

Representation:

NLP039 - Flitwick:

would cause coalescence between existing settlements
affect recreational open space
damage open aspect views from the ROW

Full text:

I support the conclusions in Appendix D as to NLP 085, 094, 402 and 408 as the reasoning is plainly correct.

I object to NLP039 being treated as appropriate for development. Development here would detrimentally advance coalescence of existing settlements and adversely affect the recreational open space afforded by the public rights of way at this point. It would damage also the open aspect views from the public way.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4857

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Julia Pankhurst

Representation:

NLP039 - Flitwick

coalescence with Steppingley
Loss of ROW
in the Green Belt.

Full text:

NLP039 - object. This land forms an important open space between the settlements of Flitwick & Steppingley, preventing coalescence. Much used ROW & open space amenities would be lost if this was developed. It is also in the Green Belt. It is on the egde of the woods & development would significantly impact the start of the dark skies area.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4986

Received: 25/08/2017

Respondent: City & County Projects

Agent: Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd

Representation:

NLP245

Q. 14, does not lie within weakly scoring Green Belt, further objections to the Green Belt Study have been made,
site does not fulfil the purposes of the Green Belt,
Q. 15, meets 2 out of 3 criteria, adjoin Flitwick which has three or more services and is well located to strategic networks,
contribution to Luton HMA figure is arbitrary with no real basis,

Full text:

These representations are submitted on behalf of City and County Projects, who are promoting a site east of Chauntry Way, Flitwick (Reference NLP245) as detailed in the Call for Sites submission for it. Separate representations having been submitted on the Draft Local Plan ('DLP') and Technical Documents published with it that are relevant to our clients' interests. These include a Green Belt Statement prepared by James Blake Associates in response to the conclusions of the Green Belt Review.

City and County Projects object to the method adopted to the assessment/sieving process in the Site Assessment Technical Document (SATD) in respect of sites currently within the Green Belt, and particularly the conclusions reached in respect of site NLP245 that, as a consequence of the approach taken, it should not be considered further as part of the Local Plan.

In particular our clients object to the answer in response to Question 14 on the Site Assessment Form for this land that it does not lie within one of the parcels which have been identified in the Green Belt Review as making only a relatively weak, weak or no contribution to the purposes of including land within the Green Belt. Separate representations, including the enclosed Green Belt Statement, have been submitted objecting to the conclusions of the Green Belt Study on parcel FW1 and particularly the failure to separately identify our parcel NLP245 as one performing weaker than the wider land parcel in the way that has been done so for other Green Belt parcels.

The Green Belt Statement by JBA provides a robust and objective assessment of the extent to which site NLP245 contributes to the purposes of including land in the Green Belt, finding as follows:

* The site does not fulfil the purposes of preventing the sprawl of a large built up area - the same conclusion was reached in the Green Belt Study on parcel FW1

* The contribution the site makes to preventing neighbouring towns from merging into each other should be 'relatively weak'. This is due to the strong visual barrier already created by existing trees along the A507 corridor and as development of the site would not make the existing gap any smaller.

* The Green Belt Study assessed the whole of land parcel FW1 as making a 'relatively weak' contribution to preserving the setting of Ampthill. This is also true of site NLP245 in isolation.

* The contribution site NLP245 makes in isolation to safeguarding the countryside from encroachment is considered to be relatively weak, compared to the moderate contribution the wider parcel FW1 makes. This is because site NLP245 is visually more closely associated with the urban area of Flitwick than it is with the rural Green Belt. It is visually separated from the open countryside by the belt of trees that runs along a small watercourse on the western boundary. Furthermore, development of the site would extend the village envelope little further to the east than the extent of the built up area to the immediate south (made up of the dwellings on Admiral Row and roads off it) and the football club facilities to the immediate north.

It demonstrates that there are very strong arguments that the site should be removed from the Green Belt and considered for allocation for new housing. It also illustrates that a robust new Green Belt boundary could be created at the eastern edge of the site utilising the existing physical feature of the water course and associated tree belt, which would provide an enduring new boundary.

In respect of Question 15, paragraph 4.3.30 of the SATD explains the sustainability criteria that have been used to filter out the most sustainable sites and confirms that sites which do not meet all three criteria have been excluded. Site NLP245 meets 2 of the 3 criteria in that it adjoins Flitwick, which has three or more of the key local service identified (and in actual fact, considerably more) and also has a mainline railway station.

The other criterion is whether the site makes a contribution of 100 or more dwellings to need in the Luton Housing Market Area. Whilst in isolation the site is likely to deliver around 75 - 85 dwellings at current typical development densities, and notwithstanding the fact that 100 dwelling figure is a completely arbitrary figure with no real basis, the SATD ignores that the adjoining parcel of land to the north, NLP375, has also been put forward through the Call for Sites and that collectively they would easily provide over 100 dwellings in this location.

The Council has previously asked separate promoters to work together on schemes, for example the land at Warren Farm, Ampthill currently being built out with around 400 dwellings. Our client and the promoters of site NLP375 have already held discussions and are happy to commit working together to bring forward a comprehensive scheme that also includes the land to the south of parcel NLP245, so the threshold of 100 units is achievable and should not be a reason for the land being rule out at Stage 1e of the assessment process.

Failing to allocate the site for this reason would be irrational and could result in a less sustainable site being developed as a consequence, meaning the Local Plan would not be justified as required by the Framework.

Both the Luton HMA Growth Options Study and the Settlements Capacity Initial Study add weight to the case for the allocation of this land, concluding that Flitwick has capacity for medium to large scale growth and that development to the north east of the town would avoid environmental constraints elsewhere around it.

No other issues were raised as part of the Stage 1 Assessment, with this confirming that the site is well related to the existing settlement and that there would be no coalescence issues from its development. In respect of the questions posed at Stages 2 and 3, which the site did not progress to, there are no issues that would not be address as part of the supporting information with a future planning application in the normal manner.

City and County Projects are committed to developing the site and it is therefore achievable. It is respectfully requested that this land is reconsidered for inclusion in the Local Plan as part of the next stage of preparation.

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5040

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Endurance Estates

Representation:

Please see attached comments

Full text:

The site extends to approximately 7.69 hectares (19 acres) and lies to the south west of the settlement of Flitwick and to the south east of Church Road. Please refer to the attached plan defining the extend of the site and relationship to the settlement. Flitwick lies between the settlement of Ampthill (to the north) and the village of Westoning (to the south) and to the east of the M1 motorway and is approximately 15 miles to the east of Milton Keynes.

The site currently lies outside the settlement envelope for Flitwick and comprises mainly arable land with a smaller area of scrubland to the north east. The site fronts on to Church Road where there exists a low hedgerow along the boundary and small wooded area to the north-western corner.

Residential properties front onto Church Road on the northern side as you approach the settlement from the west. Established hedgerow and a number of trees can be found along the boundary with Old Farm and there exists a bank of woodland beyond Old Farm associated with Manor Park. Beyond the site to the south east is the flood plain associated with the River Fit (the site itself is entirely within
Flood Zone 1) and County Wildlife Site with Flitwick Cricket Club's ground beyond accessed via the A5120.

Part of the site at its south-eastern end is classed as semi improved grassland. In respect of habitats, the parkland associated with Flitwick Manor House Hotel is a mix of deciduous woodland, conifer, semi improved grassland, wood pasture and parkland. The site is also in the Green Belt. The area of the site to the north-east forms part of a wider County Wildlife Site as outlined above. There are no listed buildings or SAMS on the site and the site is not in a Conservation Area. There
exist a number of listed buildings within the vicinity of the site as well as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Flitwick Manor is a Grade II* listed building and is currently in use as a hotel (the grounds of the hotel are classed as historic parks and gardens associated with the Manor House). There is a further listed building, Grade II, within the grounds of the manor house, The Grotto, and the church
fronting Church Road to the north of the manor house is Grade I listed. The Old Farmhouse immediately adjacent to the site is Grade II listed. There exists a scheduled ancient monument to the north off Dew Pond Road - The Mount (Motte and Bailey Castle). The site represents a sensible location for further growth providing a particularly good backdrop for a mixed residential and residential care home scheme in a sustainable location that will support and improve access to such facilities, providing housing for an aging population.

FLITWICK

Flitwick falls within 'Area A South' of the four proposed growth locations identified in the Draft Local Plan which envisages growth in the form of highly sustainable extensions of a more moderate scale to large towns and villages, inset into the Green Belt, where there is a good level of services and connectivity, and where sites are available that would not detrimentally impact on the openness of the Green Belt. We, therefore, support the general strategy for growth as set out in Policy SP1.
However, it should be made clear that growth should be supported and encouraged through extensions to the larger villages and towns within Area A, such as Flitwick, and the Council's approach to development in the Green Belt is noted in respect of the overall spatial strategy here and that sites will be released from the Green Belt as part of a wider review. We propose the release of the site from the Green Belt accordingly in parallel to its promotion through the Local Plan.
Flitwick is ranked amongst the first tier of the settlements within the hierarchy, defined as a 'Major Service Centre', and clearly ranks as a sustainable location for growth providing a focus for employment, shopping and community facilities for the local community and surrounding rural communities. The settlement is inset from the Green Belt. It is noted that the Council is currently undertaking a review of its existing settlement envelopes to reflect any changes locally and it is assumed that any further Green Belt review will also be reflected when these settlement envelopes are reviewed.

Clearly, Flitwick ranks as a sustainable location for growth given that it is defined as a 'Major Service Centre' where additional housing, employment and services are to be provided through continued redevelopment within the built-up area and expansion onto land already committed or safeguarded for development. Flitwick is one of the largest towns in the western part of the district (Ampthill to
the north being the other), and offers a good range of services and facilities acting as an important service and employment centre for the local area. It is also well served by bus routes and Flitwick has a good mainline rail link to Bedford, Luton and London.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE GREEN BELT

In respect of the Green Belt the National Planning Policy Framework states that:
* "The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence." (para 79) (it should, however, be noted that much of the Green Belt policy in respect of Flitwick and Ampthill notes the importance of maintaining a gap between these two settlements); and that
* "Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional
circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan." (para 83).
In light of the Green Belt designation and paragraph 83 of the Framework, we are seeking an allocation for residential development and residential care provision on the edge of Flitwick. It is understood that a further Stage 3 Green Belt Study for Central Bedfordshire will determine which Green Belt land could be released for development and will inform identification of preferred sites in the Pre-
Submission version of the Plan.

The Draft Local Plan notes the important role of the Green Belt in respect of continuing to prevent the towns from coalescing and retaining its key characteristics of openness and permanence. However, regard should be had to the context of the wider objectives of the Draft Local Plan and meeting the not inconsiderable housing demand across the District, whilst having regard to the pursuit of
sustainable development. Sites will be required to be released from the Green Belt to order to maintain and ensure the continued provision of services and facilities and we note the Council have acknowledged that whilst some growth can take place beyond the Green Belt and within the existing urban areas, the total amount of land available here, is not sufficient to meet the requirements set out in the Plan. We, therefore, fully support the Council's objectives in respect of Green Belt release
in order to ensure the delivery of balanced and sustainable growth across the District as a whole and consideration should be given to the release of land off Church Road. The Plan notes that these are the 'exceptional circumstances' which justifies limited release of some Green Belt Land. As detailed below, there exists a critical demand for retirement housing and extra care accommodation as due to
an ageing national population which is also a trend that is reflected at a local level in across Central Bedfordshire.

In terms of the site at Church Road it is considered that the site is highly sustainable having access to key services and facilities, transport nodes, and offers specific advantages which lends itself to housing or retirement housing and extra care accommodation that justifies its release from the Green Belt. It is noted that the site lies in Green Belt as does the countryside located to the north, to the west and to the south of the site itself. It is acknowledged that the Government attaches great importance to Green Belts and that the fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping permanently open. The key characteristics of the Green Belt is its openness and it permanence however this site does not effectively contribute to the purposes of the Green Belt designation.
The first purpose is to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas. Development of the site would be clearly related to Flitwick. The site benefits from a significant amount of tree cover located around the perimeter of the site, particularly to the east, to the south and also to the west and as a
consequence locating development within the site would not cause any perception of unrestricted sprawl of development in the countryside. Such development would sit within a strong landscape framework of woodland and tree cover around its perimeters and as a consequence like the rest of Flitwick which sits as an inset into the Green Belt, Green Belt would extend up to the boundaries of the site with development within the site itself as part of the inset like the rest of the settlement.
The second purpose of Green Belt is to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one and other. There currently is a considerable swathe of undeveloped countryside located between Flitwick to the north and a smaller settlement, Westoning located approximately 1 km to the south. Development of the site would maintain a substantial physical separation of undeveloped countryside between the
settlement of Flitwick and Westoning. This demonstrates the fact the site does not materially contribute to fulfilling a role in respect of this particular purpose. With development in place associated with the site, a clear sense of physical separation between Flitwick and Westoning would continue to prevail and remain in place.
It is noted Green Belt designation also serves to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. The strong tree cover and hedgerows which form the perimeter of the site, particularly its southern and western and northern boundaries are well defined by tree cover and hedgerows.

Therefore, the opportunity to observe development on the site from the surrounding countryside located within the Green Belt would be very limited and therefore there would be no material sense of development on the site causing encroachment into the countryside and therefore the surrounding countryside would be perceived as being effectively safeguarded even with the development in place
on the site.

In terms of preserving the setting and special character of historic towns the settlement of Flitwick is surrounded by countryside and Green Belt. This countryside serves to provide a rural context to the settlement and also for heritage assets such as Listed Buildings and Registered Park and Gardens such as the one to the east of the site. The overall setting to the historic town and its heritage assets would
not materially change with development of the site. In terms of urban regeneration, the framework encourages the recycling of derelict and other urban land however in this instance Flitwick has few significant areas of derelict urban land that can facilitate strategic scale development, and therefore to a greater extent this purpose of Green Belt does not apply on a sequential basis. As far as Flitwick
is concerned it is considered that development of the site would not materially harm the fifth purpose of Green Belt in this regard.

Clearly development of the site would introduce built form and remove the sense of openness associated with the site and therefore it is proposed that the Green Belt is rolled back to exclude the site from the Green Belt consistent with the inset characteristics of the settlement. The aforegoing analysis demonstrates that the site whilst subject to Green Belt designation does not materially contribute to fulfilling its functions. As a consequence, development of the site would not materially
compromise the purposes of the Green Belt designation in this particular locality and in the context of the countryside that separates Flitwick from Westoning.
It is considered that the site does not provide a key function within the Green Belt, it certainly does not hold a function in terms of coalescence with Ampthill or other settlements nearby. The site is located to the south of Flitwick and the area here is not deemed as an important countryside gap that warrants constraint in this regard.

MIX OF USES

In addition to the identified need for residential development we believe that specific provision should be made for care home use. The local plan notes that in line with national trends, Central Bedfordshire is also projected to have a rise in older age groups over the plan period (age ranges 70+) but is also
projected to have risen in the 55-69 aged range. Central Bedfordshire residents are generally healthy and life expectancy for both men and women is longer than it is in England as a whole. It is noted in the Plan that there exists a challenge across the District in providing a suitable housing stock for the aging population and we fully support the Draft Plan's objectives in providing the opportunity to plan holistically for older persons accommodation. However, sites will be needed at
existing settlements to meet demand and not only integrated within the new communities being proposed as part of the Plan's vision for growth.
The draft Plan seeks to support the increase in growth of people over 65+ and the further noticeable growth of the 85+ age demographics of Central Bedfordshire. Central Bedfordshire also has an ageing population within increasing levels of disability and frailty. It is expected that the ageing population is likely to increase to over half (56%) of the overall population growth (30,100) persons is projected
to be aged 65 or over and almost a third is projected to be 75+ (18,600) person equivalent to 35%, during this Plan period (2015-2035).

The release of part of this site for care home use, therefore, would assist in meeting this critical need providing a suitable backdrop for such facilities whilst being located in a highly sustainable location on the edge of Flitwick providing an attractive living environment as well as high quality care. As acknowledged in the draft Plan, providing suitable accommodation for older people is a key requirement as it provides an attractive option and encourages older people to downsize and free up
larger properties more suitable for families and makes an efficient use of housing stock. We therefore support the objective of Policy H3 which seeks to support the ageing population through the provision of suitable and appropriate accommodation, however, there must be consideration to the release of
land from the Green Belt to accommodate this need and this should be acknowledged within the Plan in order to address the critical need across the District. The adopted plan for the North of the area noted in 2009 that the type of housing to be provided should meet the needs of the population including those with disabilities and the elderly. Population projections (Population Estimates and Forecasts, Bedfordshire County Council 2006) show that the
proportion of the district's population over 65 will have risen from 13.3% in 2001 to 20.8% in 2021.

This should be reflected in the provision of new housing in the district and accordingly homes suitable for the elderly including bungalows and sheltered accommodation should be provided. Similarly, units should be provided for those with disabilities, currently 8% of households (Housing Requirements Study (2003)) include individuals with a mobility disability.

CONCLUSION
* The site is located in a sustainable location, close to the edge of the existing settlement, providing a suitable backdrop for a mix of residential and associated care home provision either in the form of a care home or care village.
* The initial landscape work undertaken shows that the site is suitable and we would request that the site is released from the Green Belt as part of the Local Plan.
* The site could be appropriately developed taking into account its setting whilst maintaining
local character and would not result in coalescence with neighbouring settlements.
* Development of the site would be well integrated into the existing high-quality landscape.
* The release of the site here would not detrimentally impact on the openness of the Green Belt or its purpose in respect of coalescence. There is increasing pressure for retirement/care home provision and the objectives of the Local Plan fully acknowledge this pressure in terms of the ageing population, however, sites will need to be released in Area A to ensure that this need is met across the District as a whole.

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5044

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Endurance Estates

Representation:

Concerning land at Church Road, Flitwick.

Full text:

The site extends to approximately 7.69 hectares (19 acres) and lies to the south west of the settlement of Flitwick and to the south east of Church Road. Please refer to the attached plan defining the extend of the site and relationship to the settlement. Flitwick lies between the settlement of Ampthill (to the north) and the village of Westoning (to the south) and to the east of the M1 motorway and is approximately 15 miles to the east of Milton Keynes.

The site currently lies outside the settlement envelope for Flitwick and comprises mainly arable land with a smaller area of scrubland to the north east. The site fronts on to Church Road where there exists a low hedgerow along the boundary and small wooded area to the north-western corner.

Residential properties front onto Church Road on the northern side as you approach the settlement from the west. Established hedgerow and a number of trees can be found along the boundary with Old Farm and there exists a bank of woodland beyond Old Farm associated with Manor Park. Beyond the site to the south east is the flood plain associated with the River Fit (the site itself is entirely within
Flood Zone 1) and County Wildlife Site with Flitwick Cricket Club's ground beyond accessed via the A5120.

Part of the site at its south-eastern end is classed as semi improved grassland. In respect of habitats, the parkland associated with Flitwick Manor House Hotel is a mix of deciduous woodland, conifer, semi improved grassland, wood pasture and parkland. The site is also in the Green Belt. The area of the site to the north-east forms part of a wider County Wildlife Site as outlined above. There are no listed buildings or SAMS on the site and the site is not in a Conservation Area. There
exist a number of listed buildings within the vicinity of the site as well as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Flitwick Manor is a Grade II* listed building and is currently in use as a hotel (the grounds of the hotel are classed as historic parks and gardens associated with the Manor House). There is a further listed building, Grade II, within the grounds of the manor house, The Grotto, and the church
fronting Church Road to the north of the manor house is Grade I listed. The Old Farmhouse immediately adjacent to the site is Grade II listed. There exists a scheduled ancient monument to the north off Dew Pond Road - The Mount (Motte and Bailey Castle). The site represents a sensible location for further growth providing a particularly good backdrop for a mixed residential and residential care home scheme in a sustainable location that will support and improve access to such facilities, providing housing for an aging population.

FLITWICK

Flitwick falls within 'Area A South' of the four proposed growth locations identified in the Draft Local Plan which envisages growth in the form of highly sustainable extensions of a more moderate scale to large towns and villages, inset into the Green Belt, where there is a good level of services and connectivity, and where sites are available that would not detrimentally impact on the openness of the Green Belt. We, therefore, support the general strategy for growth as set out in Policy SP1.
However, it should be made clear that growth should be supported and encouraged through extensions to the larger villages and towns within Area A, such as Flitwick, and the Council's approach to development in the Green Belt is noted in respect of the overall spatial strategy here and that sites will be released from the Green Belt as part of a wider review. We propose the release of the site from the Green Belt accordingly in parallel to its promotion through the Local Plan.
Flitwick is ranked amongst the first tier of the settlements within the hierarchy, defined as a 'Major Service Centre', and clearly ranks as a sustainable location for growth providing a focus for employment, shopping and community facilities for the local community and surrounding rural communities. The settlement is inset from the Green Belt. It is noted that the Council is currently undertaking a review of its existing settlement envelopes to reflect any changes locally and it is assumed that any further Green Belt review will also be reflected when these settlement envelopes are reviewed.

Clearly, Flitwick ranks as a sustainable location for growth given that it is defined as a 'Major Service Centre' where additional housing, employment and services are to be provided through continued redevelopment within the built-up area and expansion onto land already committed or safeguarded for development. Flitwick is one of the largest towns in the western part of the district (Ampthill to
the north being the other), and offers a good range of services and facilities acting as an important service and employment centre for the local area. It is also well served by bus routes and Flitwick has a good mainline rail link to Bedford, Luton and London.

CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE GREEN BELT

In respect of the Green Belt the National Planning Policy Framework states that:
* "The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence." (para 79) (it should, however, be noted that much of the Green Belt policy in respect of Flitwick and Ampthill notes the importance of maintaining a gap between these two settlements); and that
* "Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional
circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan." (para 83).
In light of the Green Belt designation and paragraph 83 of the Framework, we are seeking an allocation for residential development and residential care provision on the edge of Flitwick. It is understood that a further Stage 3 Green Belt Study for Central Bedfordshire will determine which Green Belt land could be released for development and will inform identification of preferred sites in the Pre-
Submission version of the Plan.

The Draft Local Plan notes the important role of the Green Belt in respect of continuing to prevent the towns from coalescing and retaining its key characteristics of openness and permanence. However, regard should be had to the context of the wider objectives of the Draft Local Plan and meeting the not inconsiderable housing demand across the District, whilst having regard to the pursuit of
sustainable development. Sites will be required to be released from the Green Belt to order to maintain and ensure the continued provision of services and facilities and we note the Council have acknowledged that whilst some growth can take place beyond the Green Belt and within the existing urban areas, the total amount of land available here, is not sufficient to meet the requirements set out in the Plan. We, therefore, fully support the Council's objectives in respect of Green Belt release
in order to ensure the delivery of balanced and sustainable growth across the District as a whole and consideration should be given to the release of land off Church Road. The Plan notes that these are the 'exceptional circumstances' which justifies limited release of some Green Belt Land. As detailed below, there exists a critical demand for retirement housing and extra care accommodation as due to
an ageing national population which is also a trend that is reflected at a local level in across Central Bedfordshire.

In terms of the site at Church Road it is considered that the site is highly sustainable having access to key services and facilities, transport nodes, and offers specific advantages which lends itself to housing or retirement housing and extra care accommodation that justifies its release from the Green Belt. It is noted that the site lies in Green Belt as does the countryside located to the north, to the west and to the south of the site itself. It is acknowledged that the Government attaches great importance to Green Belts and that the fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping permanently open. The key characteristics of the Green Belt is its openness and it permanence however this site does not effectively contribute to the purposes of the Green Belt designation.
The first purpose is to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas. Development of the site would be clearly related to Flitwick. The site benefits from a significant amount of tree cover located around the perimeter of the site, particularly to the east, to the south and also to the west and as a
consequence locating development within the site would not cause any perception of unrestricted sprawl of development in the countryside. Such development would sit within a strong landscape framework of woodland and tree cover around its perimeters and as a consequence like the rest of Flitwick which sits as an inset into the Green Belt, Green Belt would extend up to the boundaries of the site with development within the site itself as part of the inset like the rest of the settlement.
The second purpose of Green Belt is to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one and other. There currently is a considerable swathe of undeveloped countryside located between Flitwick to the north and a smaller settlement, Westoning located approximately 1 km to the south. Development of the site would maintain a substantial physical separation of undeveloped countryside between the
settlement of Flitwick and Westoning. This demonstrates the fact the site does not materially contribute to fulfilling a role in respect of this particular purpose. With development in place associated with the site, a clear sense of physical separation between Flitwick and Westoning would continue to prevail and remain in place.
It is noted Green Belt designation also serves to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. The strong tree cover and hedgerows which form the perimeter of the site, particularly its southern and western and northern boundaries are well defined by tree cover and hedgerows.

Therefore, the opportunity to observe development on the site from the surrounding countryside located within the Green Belt would be very limited and therefore there would be no material sense of development on the site causing encroachment into the countryside and therefore the surrounding countryside would be perceived as being effectively safeguarded even with the development in place
on the site.

In terms of preserving the setting and special character of historic towns the settlement of Flitwick is surrounded by countryside and Green Belt. This countryside serves to provide a rural context to the settlement and also for heritage assets such as Listed Buildings and Registered Park and Gardens such as the one to the east of the site. The overall setting to the historic town and its heritage assets would
not materially change with development of the site. In terms of urban regeneration, the framework encourages the recycling of derelict and other urban land however in this instance Flitwick has few significant areas of derelict urban land that can facilitate strategic scale development, and therefore to a greater extent this purpose of Green Belt does not apply on a sequential basis. As far as Flitwick
is concerned it is considered that development of the site would not materially harm the fifth purpose of Green Belt in this regard.

Clearly development of the site would introduce built form and remove the sense of openness associated with the site and therefore it is proposed that the Green Belt is rolled back to exclude the site from the Green Belt consistent with the inset characteristics of the settlement. The aforegoing analysis demonstrates that the site whilst subject to Green Belt designation does not materially contribute to fulfilling its functions. As a consequence, development of the site would not materially
compromise the purposes of the Green Belt designation in this particular locality and in the context of the countryside that separates Flitwick from Westoning.
It is considered that the site does not provide a key function within the Green Belt, it certainly does not hold a function in terms of coalescence with Ampthill or other settlements nearby. The site is located to the south of Flitwick and the area here is not deemed as an important countryside gap that warrants constraint in this regard.

MIX OF USES

In addition to the identified need for residential development we believe that specific provision should be made for care home use. The local plan notes that in line with national trends, Central Bedfordshire is also projected to have a rise in older age groups over the plan period (age ranges 70+) but is also
projected to have risen in the 55-69 aged range. Central Bedfordshire residents are generally healthy and life expectancy for both men and women is longer than it is in England as a whole. It is noted in the Plan that there exists a challenge across the District in providing a suitable housing stock for the aging population and we fully support the Draft Plan's objectives in providing the opportunity to plan holistically for older persons accommodation. However, sites will be needed at
existing settlements to meet demand and not only integrated within the new communities being proposed as part of the Plan's vision for growth.
The draft Plan seeks to support the increase in growth of people over 65+ and the further noticeable growth of the 85+ age demographics of Central Bedfordshire. Central Bedfordshire also has an ageing population within increasing levels of disability and frailty. It is expected that the ageing population is likely to increase to over half (56%) of the overall population growth (30,100) persons is projected
to be aged 65 or over and almost a third is projected to be 75+ (18,600) person equivalent to 35%, during this Plan period (2015-2035).

The release of part of this site for care home use, therefore, would assist in meeting this critical need providing a suitable backdrop for such facilities whilst being located in a highly sustainable location on the edge of Flitwick providing an attractive living environment as well as high quality care. As acknowledged in the draft Plan, providing suitable accommodation for older people is a key requirement as it provides an attractive option and encourages older people to downsize and free up
larger properties more suitable for families and makes an efficient use of housing stock. We therefore support the objective of Policy H3 which seeks to support the ageing population through the provision of suitable and appropriate accommodation, however, there must be consideration to the release of
land from the Green Belt to accommodate this need and this should be acknowledged within the Plan in order to address the critical need across the District. The adopted plan for the North of the area noted in 2009 that the type of housing to be provided should meet the needs of the population including those with disabilities and the elderly. Population projections (Population Estimates and Forecasts, Bedfordshire County Council 2006) show that the
proportion of the district's population over 65 will have risen from 13.3% in 2001 to 20.8% in 2021.

This should be reflected in the provision of new housing in the district and accordingly homes suitable for the elderly including bungalows and sheltered accommodation should be provided. Similarly, units should be provided for those with disabilities, currently 8% of households (Housing Requirements Study (2003)) include individuals with a mobility disability.

CONCLUSION
* The site is located in a sustainable location, close to the edge of the existing settlement, providing a suitable backdrop for a mix of residential and associated care home provision either in the form of a care home or care village.
* The initial landscape work undertaken shows that the site is suitable and we would request that the site is released from the Green Belt as part of the Local Plan.
* The site could be appropriately developed taking into account its setting whilst maintaining
local character and would not result in coalescence with neighbouring settlements.
* Development of the site would be well integrated into the existing high-quality landscape.
* The release of the site here would not detrimentally impact on the openness of the Green Belt or its purpose in respect of coalescence. There is increasing pressure for retirement/care home provision and the objectives of the Local Plan fully acknowledge this pressure in terms of the ageing population, however, sites will need to be released in Area A to ensure that this need is met across the District as a whole.

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5081

Received: 15/08/2017

Respondent: Miss Jacqueline Raftery

Representation:

Local Plan Ref NLP 039 Steppingley Road Flitwick
My comments are specific to the above mentioned location, where a decision has been made that this site be considered further for inclusion in the Local Plan.

See attachment for further text.

Full text:

Local Plan Ref NLP 039 Steppingley Road Flitwick
My comments are specific to the above mentioned location, where a decision has been made that this site be considered further for inclusion in the Local Plan.

See attachment for further text.

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5496

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Representation:

Scoping work is due to commence to consider hub arrangements in each of the above localities. It is anticipated that planning for these facilities can consider the need to accommodate this
additional growth, should it come forwards. Therefore a financial contribution to support the provision of healthcare facilities for this additional capacity would be required.

Full text:

See attached

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5592

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Persimmon Homes Ltd

Agent: Bidwells

Representation:

Bidwells has been instructed by Persimmon Homes Limited to respond to the Draft Local Plan. Persimmon are housebuilders with an interest in the land west of Steppingley Road, Flitwick.

see attachment

Full text:

see attachment

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5876

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Ms Felicity Evans

Representation:

I write to lodge my objections in the strongest possible terms. Overall, the entire area, including NLP375 is not set up for or appropriate for this staggering level of building. This area has already seen an increase in house building, including large sites at Potton and Biggleswade, so it is not as though CB is not doing its fair share in terms of finding space for homes for the future. see full text

Full text:

I write to lodge my objections in the strongest possible terms. Overall, the entire area, including ALP094, is not set up for or appropriate for this staggering level of building. This area has already seen an increase in house building, including large sites at Potton and Biggleswade, so it is not as though CB is not doing its fair share in terms of finding space for homes for the future.

A few key points suggest this proposal is unworkable and wholly inappropriate both for residents already living here and for those who may end up living here in the future:

* The Historic Environment Planning Adviser at Historic England has describes the plans proposed by CBC as "woefully inadequate" with their regards to consideration of the heritage/historical significance of the area. The council's own archaeologist states that allocation of this site would be inappropriate given the historic significance. Multi-period archaeological remains are known to survive in the area.

* The whole area is prone to flooding, with existing houses and field flooding regularly, especially in winter. Tempsford (west) is located entirely located in a flood zone.

In summary of these last two points I quote from CBCs' own report on Tempsford (Appendix B, Area B Assessments): "The settlement contains sensitive environmental receptors including best and most versatile agricultural land, County Wildlife Sites and priority habitats. Tempsford (west) is located entirely located in flood zone. The settlement also contains designated heritage assets in the form of listed buildings and a Conservation Area.
Development in the west is constrained by flood risk, locally designated biodiversity (CWS) and Priority Habitats, as well as the Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Networks.
TEMPSFORD SUMMARY
Capacity: Low
Development is constrained by a lack of easily accessible services and facilities, particularly healthcare, retail / convenience, and leisure facilities. Development is further constrained by the abundance of Priority Habitats and best and most versatile agricultural land in the west of the settlement, as well as sensitive heritage settings.
Whilst development of a sufficient scale could support improved service and facility provisions, and the environmental constraints can largely be avoided in the east of the settlement, development at this scale would be likely to have a detrimental impact on the rural character and appearance of the settlement. Whilst small scale development could avoid such problems it is also likely to increase reliance on the private vehicle."

* The rise in pollution and congestion created by so many new homes would inevitably be huge.

* It is noted that your own plan says that stage two is to "lobby for infrastructure". The fact that these proposals are being put forward at present with such woefully inadequate planning for infrastructure is, frankly, staggering. Due to underfunding, schools and medical providers are already at breaking point; new towns such as Cambourne already prove that such places without adequate recreation facilities become soulless and unpleasant places to live. Which leads me to my final point:

* The Campaign To Protect Rural England's statement on your proposals reveal that you are offering far, far more than the government *actually requests* in terms of houses built in this area, and that this is attached to payments you expect to receive relating to the number of houses built, to make up for central government cuts. This approach would seem to be unsustainable and illogical in the extreme, and partly explains the slapdash, reckless and badly prepared approach to infrastructure noted above, not to mention the rush to bulldoze over acres and acres of rural land. Further more, CPRE also highlight: that the proposals to build on greenbelt land lack the required justifications; that a massive 30% variation in the houses proposed to be built at this stage suggests a sloppy and ill-thought-out approach to the planning of this project; and that CBC is relying heavily on large number of commuters to purchase and live in these homes, which is the least sustainable kind of development, and leads to the erosion of existing communities.

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5976

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Flitwick Town Council

Representation:

Section 106 funding, installations of a new footpath at Maulden Road, a new doctor's surgery/hub, additional employment provision, additional car parking spaces, adequate school provision and improved infrastructure in general.

The Town Council support the Government's Starter Home Scheme on land at Steppingley Road allotments, the protection of the SSSI site at Flitwick Moor and progression of a development at the former Leisure Centre site.

Full text:

Members have discussed the CBC draft local plan and wish the following points to be included as Flitwick's response:

Section 106 funding, installations of a new footpath at Maulden Road, a new doctor's surgery/hub, additional employment provision, additional car parking spaces, adequate school provision and improved infrastructure in general.

The Town Council support the Government's Starter Home Scheme on land at Steppingley Road allotments, the protection of the SSSI site at Flitwick Moor and progression of a development at the former Leisure Centre site.

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6196

Received: 29/09/2017

Respondent: Mr Philip Williams

Representation:

Objections to development of land south of Steppingley Road, Flitiwck on green belt, loss visual amenity, recreational opens space, wildlife and impact on rural character and appearance grounds

Full text:


In the draft local plan I am concerned that there is a risk of development on land South of Steppingley road Flitwick in an area of green belt where developers have already expressed an interest.

What may not be fully appreciated is just how valuable this land is in its present state. I therefore wish to point out the following benefits which would be lost to present and future generations should development encroach on this.

This area is characterised by wide open spaces and distant views across farmland.

This area easy access that offers walkers an experience of farmland and nature with numerous paths in open countryside.

The residents of Flitwick do not need to get into their cars to access this free amenity.

They can quickly escape the claustrophobic density of modern housing into open countryside.

A range of wildlife lives in this area.

Parklands or woods do not give the same feeling as open long views of farmland countryside and space which so many local people enjoy.

The land has great recreational value. It is crossed by many paths and by bridal ways well used by walkers, dog walkers and riders.

Diminishing this space by an expansion of the Flitwick boundary will completely change its nature and loose its valuable character.

Encroaching suburban development on the western side of Flitwick has already seen significant housing development towards Froghall road. This has ignored the rural aspect of the area which has complexly changed by estates and unsympathetic urban road calming in Froghall road.

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6260

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Endurance Estates

Representation:

proposing a site in Flitwick

Full text:

Please see attached comments

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6295

Received: 25/08/2017

Respondent: Bellcross Homes

Agent: Rapleys

Representation:

Land off Trafalgar Drive, Flitwick, comprising some 7.3ha being promoted for residential development; see attachment

Full text:

see attachment

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6751

Received: 10/10/2017

Respondent: Pigeon Investment Management

Agent: DLP Planning Ltd

Representation:

ALP174, ALP177 and NLP321
1.6 The Council's assessment of the site, which we have concerns over on the basis of its objectivity and scoring, dismissed it primarily on the basis of the Site's proximity to Flitwick Moor (SSSI), perceived impact on ecology and landscaping, impact on the setting of the listed Flitwick Mill, and the site being Grade 2/3 agricultural land. The site is being promoted for mixed use development that includes mixed use employment, a health and social care hub, residential units, formal and informal open space and ecological enhancements.

Full text:

See attachment
The site was previously submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council's 'Call for Sites' exercise under references ALP174, ALP177 and NLP321 as part of the emerging local plan process.
1.6 The Council's assessment of the site, which we have concerns over on the basis of its objectivity and scoring, dismissed it primarily on the basis of the Site's proximity to Flitwick Moor (SSSI), perceived impact on ecology and landscaping, impact on the setting of the listed Flitwick Mill, and the site being Grade 2/3 agricultural land.
1.7 As set out in Section 4.0 below, the site is being promoted for mixed use development that includes mixed use employment, a health and social care hub, residential units, formal and informal open space and ecological enhancements. An indicative master plan has been submitted with this representation.

Attachments:

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6892

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Greensand Trust

Representation:

ALP174,ALP177 & NLP321 Flitwick
We welcome and fully support the fact that these two sites adjacent to Flitwick Moor SSSI have been excluded from the Local Plan process. Flitwick Moor is an extremely important and fragile site with complex hydrology which could easily be damaged by development in this location. The sites are also within the Green Belt.

Full text:

see attachment

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 7144

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Denison Investments

Agent: Arrow Planning

Representation:

Denison Investments Limited are the promoters of the following sites
within Central Bedfordshire:
* Land off Goswell End Road, Harlington (CBC Ref
NLP303/ALP123);
* Alma Farm, Toddington (CBC Ref NLP411);
* Land at Warren Farm Phase 2, Ampthill (CBC Ref
NLP412/ALP343);
* One-O-One Field, Ampthill Road, Flitwick (CBC Ref
NLP397/ALP345);
* Land at Leighton Road, Hockliffe (CBC Ref NLP413/ALP125);
* Land to the North of Shefford Road, Clifton (CBC Ref NLP361).

Full text:

See attachment

Attachments: