Steppingley

Showing comments and forms 1 to 29 of 29

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 1242

Received: 18/08/2017

Respondent: Mr James Farnsworth

Representation:

Object to development around Steppingley:
Object to Flitwick Settlement boundary extending towards Steppingley
Steppingley may get subsumed into Flitwick
Spoil views and open space around Steppingley
Lose outdoor activities
Lose wildlife
Wants Steppingley to remain a village not become a town

Full text:

See attachment

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 1659

Received: 22/08/2017

Respondent: Andrea Reeves

Representation:

I would like to register my objections to any proposed development in and around Steppingley.

see full text

Full text:

I would like to register my objections to any proposed development in and around Steppingley.

I am a resident in the village and have been for the last 11 years. One of the principal reasons we chose Steppingley as our new home was to move away from urbanisation and to a location that was more rural. We were attracted to a small village because of its unique character and to live in a wilder, more open space.

I am concerned that there is increasing encroachment from surrounding villages especially Flitwick with its recent large scale development of housing estates and road networks. It feels that Flitwick and Steppingley are becoming 'one' and this spoils the unique character and feel of village life. I'm worried that we will once again live in an urbanisation.

Another reason why we live where we do is the outside space that we use for walking, dog walking and jogging. There is a currently a lot of wildlife in our own back garden that I see regularly and also observe on our walks including toads, woodpeckers and kites and enjoy bluebell wood very much. There are some beautiful open and quiet spaces that I really enjoy in our time off with stunning views and landscapes of the local areas and I'm concerned that this is being eroded. With leisure time being precious, its important to me that I can spend it in my local outdoors.

I hope very much that my concerns will be taken note of and that the special nature of Steppingley village will be retained

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 2184

Received: 25/08/2017

Respondent: Mrs Brenda Webb

Representation:

Objection
Steppingley Village Hall and the Parish should be conserved
Attractive village should be protected
In Green Belt
Agricultural land should head list of definition of Open space
Surrounded by countryside used for outdoor recreation
Expansion of Flitwick towards Steppingley should be stopped
Local Plan policies put emphasis on retention, conservation and cherishing our Area's natural environment, centred on open countryside.
Central Bedfordshire should uphold it's own policies.

Full text:

see attachment

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 2389

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr R Collins

Agent: Aragon Land & Planning Ltd

Representation:

This is comment made pursuant to NLP 094. The site is discounted on coalescence grounds (question 7). However a gap remains and part of the site could be developed to also secure part of the site to remain open and preclude any coalescence.

Full text:

This is comment made pursuant to NLP 094. The site is discounted on coalescence grounds (question 7). However a gap remains and part of the site could be developed to also secure part of the site to remain open and preclude any coalescence.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 3076

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Messers Olney, Willis & Butterworth

Agent: Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd

Representation:

See full representation

Full text:

These representations are submitted on behalf of ours clients, Messrs Olney, Willis and Butterworth, who are promoting land south of Rectory Road, Steppingley (Site reference NLP085). Separate representations are submitted on the Draft Local Plan and relevant Technical Documents; the Settlements Capacity Initial Study and the Green Belt Review.

Our clients wish to object to both the approach adopted to the assessment/sieving process in the Site Assessment Technical Document (SATD), particularly in respect of sites within the Green Belt, and also to the conclusions reached in respect of site NLP085 as a consequence that it should not be considered further as part of the Local Plan.

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. Our clients object in principle to this approach, which effectively rules out any new housing in small settlements within the Green Belt. This is contrary to Government guidance, which encourages new housing in rural communities.

Paragraph 55 of the NPPF confirms this by stating "To promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities." Further support for new rural housing is contained within the Planning Practice Guidance: Rural Housing where it says, "A thriving rural community in a living, working countryside depends, in part, on retaining local services and community facilities such as schools, local shops, cultural venues, public houses and places of worship. Rural housing is essential to ensure viable use of these local facilities."

In the case of Steppingley, where our clients are promoting land south of Rectory Road, the Settlements Capacity Initial Study acknowledges that there are a number of existing facilities within the village and also that it is in close proximity to the much larger settlements of Flitwick and Ampthill, which have excellent provision of services and . It concludes that Steppingley has low, but still some capacity for growth; i.e. for up to 50 dwellings.

Our clients are of the view that inclusion of a small residential allocation at Steppingley in the Local Plan would be of benefit by helping to support the existing facilities there by providing additional custom and would add to the vitality of the village. It would also provide a further choice of homes and opportunities for young people to remain in the village and older people to downsize, freeing up much needed family housing.

The inclusion of an arbitrary exclusion figure of a minimum of 100 dwellings has led to the discounting of an entirely suitable site, which as demonstrated in the Call for Sites submission and separate representations on the Green Belt Review, does not contribute the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

The stage 1B Assessment on the Site Assessment Form even acknowledges the site adjoins the village on both sides and is opposite development along Rectory Road. The Form also accepts that the front part of the site could be considered suitable for development.

No issues are raised on the Site Assessment Form that could not be addressed as part of a future planning application. The Call for Sites submission was supported by an illustrative layout demonstrating that the site can accommodate 18 dwellings with the provision of substantial landscaping along the southern boundary to create a robust new boundary to the Green Belt and an appropriate transition from the new settlement edge to the countryside beyond.

The land owner is committed to developing the site therefore development at the site is achievable. It is respectfully requested that it is reconsidered for inclusion in the Local Plan as part of the next stage of preparation.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4633

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Messers Olney, Willis & Butterworth

Agent: Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd

Representation:

NLP085 - objects to approach taken with sites in the Green Belt and believe it is contrary to NPPF is supporting growth in the rural communities.

Full text:

These representations are submitted on behalf of ours clients, Messrs Olney, Willis and Butterworth, who are promoting land south of Rectory Road, Steppingley (Site reference NLP085). Separate representations are submitted on the Draft Local Plan and relevant Technical Documents; the Settlements Capacity Initial Study and the Green Belt Review.

Our clients wish to object to both the approach adopted to the assessment/sieving process in the Site Assessment Technical Document (SATD), particularly in respect of sites within the Green Belt, and also to the conclusions reached in respect of site NLP085 as a consequence that it should not be considered further as part of the Local Plan.

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. Our clients object in principle to this approach, which effectively rules out any new housing in small settlements within the Green Belt. This is contrary to Government guidance, which encourages new housing in rural communities.

Paragraph 55 of the NPPF confirms this by stating "To promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities." Further support for new rural housing is contained within the Planning Practice Guidance: Rural Housing where it says, "A thriving rural community in a living, working countryside depends, in part, on retaining local services and community facilities such as schools, local shops, cultural venues, public houses and places of worship. Rural housing is essential to ensure viable use of these local facilities."

In the case of Steppingley, where our clients are promoting land south of Rectory Road, the Settlements Capacity Initial Study acknowledges that there are a number of existing facilities within the village and also that it is in close proximity to the much larger settlements of Flitwick and Ampthill, which have excellent provision of services and . It concludes that Steppingley has low, but still some capacity for growth; i.e. for up to 50 dwellings.

Our clients are of the view that inclusion of a small residential allocation at Steppingley in the Local Plan would be of benefit by helping to support the existing facilities there by providing additional custom and would add to the vitality of the village. It would also provide a further choice of homes and opportunities for young people to remain in the village and older people to downsize, freeing up much needed family housing.

The inclusion of an arbitrary exclusion figure of a minimum of 100 dwellings has led to the discounting of an entirely suitable site, which as demonstrated in the Call for Sites submission and separate representations on the Green Belt Review, does not contribute the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

The stage 1B Assessment on the Site Assessment Form even acknowledges the site adjoins the village on both sides and is opposite development along Rectory Road. The Form also accepts that the front part of the site could be considered suitable for development.

No issues are raised on the Site Assessment Form that could not be addressed as part of a future planning application. The Call for Sites submission was supported by an illustrative layout demonstrating that the site can accommodate 18 dwellings with the provision of substantial landscaping along the southern boundary to create a robust new boundary to the Green Belt and an appropriate transition from the new settlement edge to the countryside beyond.

The land owner is committed to developing the site therefore development at the site is achievable. It is respectfully requested that it is reconsidered for inclusion in the Local Plan as part of the next stage of preparation.

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 4859

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Julia Pankhurst

Representation:

NLP085
NLP094
NLP402
NLP408
Agree with the assessment made, not suitable for development

Full text:

NLP085
NLP094
NLP402
NLP408
Agree with the assessment made, not suitable for development

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5041

Received: 22/08/2017

Respondent: Andrea Reeves

Representation:

Steppingley

coalescence concerns between Flitwick and Steppingley,
loss of open space for leisure,
impact on wildlife,
damage to village character.

Full text:

I would like to register my objections to any proposed development in and around Steppingley.

I am a resident in the village and have been for the last 11 years. One of the principal reasons we chose Steppingley as our new home was to move away from urbanisation and to a location that was more rural. We were attracted to a small village because of its unique character and to live in a wilder, more open space.

I am concerned that there is increasing encroachment from surrounding villages especially Flitwick with its recent large scale development of housing estates and road networks. It feels that Flitwick and Steppingley are becoming 'one' and this spoils the unique character and feel of village life. I'm worried that we will once again live in an urbanisation.

Another reason why we live where we do is the outside space that we use for walking, dog walking and jogging. There is a currently a lot of wildlife in our own back garden that I see regularly and also observe on our walks including toads, woodpeckers and kites and enjoy bluebell wood very much. There are some beautiful open and quiet spaces that I really enjoy in our time off with stunning views and landscapes of the local areas and I'm concerned that this is being eroded. With leisure time being precious, its important to me that I can spend it in my local outdoors.

I hope very much that my concerns will be taken note of and that the special nature of Steppingley village will be retained

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5284

Received: 22/08/2017

Respondent: Christine Cook

Number of people: 2

Representation:

Concerns re:
Steppingley being affected by any infill development or any blurring of its countryside boundary with Flitwick
Existing roads are small and narrow with limited accessibility, could not cope with additional traffic
Roads well used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers
CBC need to apply its own pledge to 'retain green space to prevent existing settlements merging, keeping their identity and the rural character of the area' by rejecting any merging of the boundaries between Flitwick and Steppingley and any infil development within Steppingley village itself

Full text:

Steppingley has a unique character and community in a genuinely rural setting surrounded by productive farmland, observable wildlife, open aspect views and dark skies, all of which would be seriously threatened by either infill development or any blurring of its countryside boundary with Flitwick.

In addition the roads through Steppingley are small and narrow with lmited accessibility and could not cope with added traffic. They are however well used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers all of whom appreciate and enjoy the recreational open space.

I would urge Central Bedfordshire Council to apply it`s own pledge to " retain green space to prevent existing settlements merging, keeping their identity and the rural character of the area" by rejecting any merging of the boundaries between Flitwick and Steppingley and any infill development within Steppingingley village itself.

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5324

Received: 22/08/2017

Respondent: Mr & Mrs William & Julie Neilson

Representation:

Concerns re:
Loss of Green Belt land and coalescence between Flitwick and Steppingley
Loss of character of village
Need to retain and maintain the green spaces as they are a habitat for lots of wildlife
Potential impact of light pollution
Additional traffic will impact on walkers, cyclists and runners who use the area
Dangerous bend leading to The French Horn, accident blackspot
Parking issues cause Rectory Road to be a single lane road most of the time, increase in traffic will exacerbate this
Steppingley is steeped in history and flora/fauna and deserves to be preserved

Full text:

We would like you to take the following details into account when putting in place the new structure for the local plan please.

We have lived in this beautiful village for nearly two years now and are extremely concerned that this wonderful environment is about to be ruined by your future proposed plans.

There are various points we hope you will seriously consider before agreeing to any further building or development in this beautiful area -

We believe that to even attempt to join Flitwick with Steppingley and remove the green belt land that divides us is totally wrong as the unique character of what Steppingley is will be blurred merging it with another local town.

We must ask that you retain and maintain the green spaces around us here as they are a natural habitat for wildlife - crested newts, woodpeckers, bats, hares etc and various flora and fauna that are likely to simply disappear with any developments.

We have the most amazing dark skies here too and these will be lost with any development being brought into the area. Those of you who have never gazed into a pitch black sky with twinkling stars should pop up to Steppingley to see why this must not be taken away and why visitors to the area take away fantastic memories.

We are lucky enough to live in a green belt environment where walking, running, cycling provide free pleasure - no payment, no crowds and very little traffic to disturb this. If you go ahead with your plans these things will be a thing of the past - gone and forgotten.

We have regular races through here for both runners and cyclists and every day the cyclists use this as a great route to take them out into the open countryside. We also have walkers and particularly dog walkers through the village who always stop to admire stating that this is a beautiful, quiet unspoilt place to live.

More houses built here mean more vehicle and we urge you and your councillors to drive into Steppingley round the dangerous bend leading to the French Horn. In the two years we have lived here I cannot tell you how many accidents have occurred due to traffic speeding as they approach the bend to head towards Milton Keynes. The traffic on Rectory Road parks on one side making this a single track road most of the time and already causes congestion with even a slight increase in traffic so to encourage more to use this part of Steppingley is pure madness.

We fully understand the need for new homes in the area but it is extremely disturbing to think that those of us who have worked long and hard to live in an unspoilt hamlet need to give that up in order to line the pockets of those who don't live here and are just interested in making money.

Steppingley is steeped in history and the flora and fauna in the area deserve to be preserved. The local walks are beautiful and the peace and tranquillity should be preserved for future generations.

We implore you to think again when considering planning permission here. We strongly urge you to visit the area both by car and on foot and enjoy what we are trying to preserve.

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5331

Received: 22/08/2017

Respondent: Richard Davies

Representation:

Object to any proposed development in and around Steppingley
Small parcels of countryside that need to be protected from any future development
Impact on wildlife, heart/feel of historic village
Concern re: coalescence from Flitwick and other surrounding villages
Impact on unique character/village feel
Village boundaries must be protected
Green space around Steppingley home to a variety of wildlife - newts/frogs/toads/woodpeckers/owls/kites/buzzards/badgers/bats/deer/hares/stoats/pole cats

Full text:

As part of the request for feedback following the recent local plan consultation document, I would like to register my objections to any proposed development in and around the village of Steppingley.

I have lived in Steppingley for the last 11 years. Having previously lived in a very built up suburb, I was attracted to this picturesque village primarily because of it's green and open feel. There are still small parcels of countryside which I feel strongly need to be protected from any future development as this would be very destructive to not only the local wildlife but also to the heart and feel of this historic village.

I am concerned that there is ever increasing "creep" from surrounding villages especially Flitwick with its recent large scale development of multiple new housing estates. It feels that Flitwick and Steppingley are rapidly becoming 'one' and this spoils the unique character and feel of village life here in Steppingley. I feel very strongly that village boundaries must be protected.

As a keen jogger and dog walker I think it is imperative that we protect the very limited green and open countryside which is left in the village. It is home to a variety of wildlife such as crested and common newts, frogs and toads, green and spotted woodpeckers, owls, kites, buzzards, badgers, bats, deer, hares, stoats and pole cats to name a few and I feel very strongly that we must protect these wildlife and their habitat from any further development in the village.

I trust that my concerns will be heard and registered and that the local plan will act to preserve the beautiful and historic nature of the village of Steppingley.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5855

Received: 28/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Lionel Yarde

Representation:

Steppingley has a unique charecter and community, which would be destroyed by large scale development. Steppingley has about 80 dwellings and since 1950, 21 of these are either new or converted properties, which is more than 25%. any more would spoil the character if this unique village.

Full text:

I am a Steppingley resident and I gather that the Fliwick development boundary is under review, I beleive that it is critical that the land to the west of Steppingley Road remains a rural gap between us and Flitwick. I therefore want the Council, within the Local Plan, to specifically ackknoledge the importance of this countryside to both Steppingley and Flitwick. Infill development which has in the passed been proposed and rejected (due to Green Belt) this remains.
The loss of 362 acres of Green Belt to Center Parcs was a large amount to loose. The developments on our boundary of 450 houses at Froghall and Steppingley Gardens Flitwick and the planned development of additional housing on the old leisure centre, all add to the growing pressures of our rural communities.
Steppingley has a unique charecter and community, which would be destroyed by large scale development. Steppingley has about 80 dwellings and since 1950, 21 of these are either new or converted properties, which is more than 25%. any more would spoil the character if this unique village.
The green belt land that surrounds Steppingley is valuable agricultural land which is so important, also it is so vital to retain free recreation and informal activities such as walking, horse riding and cycling, and to enjoy aspects of the veiws e.g. Flitwick Wood, the veiws from the permisive foot path at Wood End Farm , and on the top of the Byway towards Ridgmont . Whilst enjoying these facilities it is a good opertunity to take in the vast aray of wildlife, such as the Rookery on the roundabout, crested and common newts, frogs, & toads, green and spotted woodpeckers, owls, kites, buzzards, badgers, bats, deer, hares, stoats, pole cats, foxes, also wild daffodils, and bluebells. So if development is alowed this sttuation could be under threat.
Steppingley has a dark sky policy and would like to retain it, I feel development would put this in danger.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5857

Received: 28/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Lionel Yarde

Representation:

Concern for loss of more Green belt
Loss of unique character of Steppingley
Loss of agricultural land and free out door recreation
Loss of views
Concern for impact on wildlife
Loss of dark sky policy

Full text:

I am a Steppingley resident and I gather that the Fliwick development boundary is under review, I beleive that it is critical that the land to the west of Steppingley Road remains a rural gap between us and Flitwick. I therefore want the Council, within the Local Plan, to specifically ackknoledge the importance of this countryside to both Steppingley and Flitwick. Infill development which has in the passed been proposed and rejected (due to Green Belt) this remains.
The loss of 362 acres of Green Belt to Center Parcs was a large amount to loose. The developments on our boundary of 450 houses at Froghall and Steppingley Gardens Flitwick and the planned development of additional housing on the old leisure centre, all add to the growing pressures of our rural communities.
Steppingley has a unique charecter and community, which would be destroyed by large scale development. Steppingley has about 80 dwellings and since 1950, 21 of these are either new or converted properties, which is more than 25%. any more would spoil the character if this unique village.
The green belt land that surrounds Steppingley is valuable agricultural land which is so important, also it is so vital to retain free recreation and informal activities such as walking, horse riding and cycling, and to enjoy aspects of the veiws e.g. Flitwick Wood, the veiws from the permisive foot path at Wood End Farm , and on the top of the Byway towards Ridgmont . Whilst enjoying these facilities it is a good opertunity to take in the vast aray of wildlife, such as the Rookery on the roundabout, crested and common newts, frogs, & toads, green and spotted woodpeckers, owls, kites, buzzards, badgers, bats, deer, hares, stoats, pole cats, foxes, also wild daffodils, and bluebells. So if development is alowed this sttuation could be under threat.
Steppingley has a dark sky policy and would like to retain it, I feel development would put this in danger.

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5919

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Sam Pankhurst

Representation:

With reference to the Call for Sites, I agree with your assessment on the following sites within Steppingley:
*NLP085 - Land South of Rectory Rd
*NLP094 - Land north west of Flitwick
*NLP402 - Land at Froghall Farm
*NLP408 - Land south of Steppingley Road

Full text:

With reference to the Draft Local Plan document, I would like to see greater and more specific protection for the Green Belt land between Flitwick and Steppingley, for the following reasons:
*This land is currently preventing coalescence of the two settlements.
*It helps to maintain the rural character of the area
*It provides space for free outdoor recreation in a rural setting, such as walking, riding and cycling using the rural footpaths and bridleways
*Provides open aspect views from paths and viewpoints around the area
*Supports a wide variety of wildlife, both flora and fauna.
*Provides productive farmland
*Supports a farm shop, providing local supplies of farm produce as well as animal supplies which reduces food miles for the local community
*Allows Steppingley to retain a level of dark sky, as there is no streetlighting in the village.
These are all aspects of Steppingley Parish that should be preserved and protected, for the benefits of all Central Bedfordshire residents.

I know that the Green Belt designation provides a certain level of protection, however I am aware that this can be overridden in certain circumstances. I would therefore like to see stronger protection for this and other similar spaces within the Local Plan.

With reference to the Call for Sites, I agree with your assessment on the following sites within Steppingley:
*NLP085 - Land South of Rectory Rd
*NLP094 - Land north west of Flitwick
*NLP402 - Land at Froghall Farm
*NLP408 - Land south of Steppingley Road

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5924

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Mr Sam Pankhurst

Representation:

Regarding the Call for Sites consultation, please register my objection to site NLP039 - Steppingley Road, Flitwick for the following reasons:
*on Green Belt.
*open green space preventing coalescence of the settlements of Flitwick & Steppingley.
* existing rights of way of a rural nature in this area, which support outdoor recreation and activity, which would be lost if development were to occur on this site.
*supports the dark skies within the surrounding Green Belt.
*The Community Plan for this area highlights the importance of the green space to the west of Flitwick, and therefore should be protected from development

Full text:

With reference to the Draft Local Plan document, I would like to see greater and more specific protection for the Green Belt land between Flitwick and Steppingley, for the following reasons:
*This land is currently preventing coalescence of the two settlements.
*It helps to maintain the rural character of the area
*It provides space for free outdoor recreation in a rural setting, such as walking, riding and cycling using the rural footpaths and bridleways
*Provides open aspect views from paths and viewpoints around the area
*Supports a wide variety of wildlife, both flora and fauna.
*Provides productive farmland
*Supports a farm shop, providing local supplies of farm produce as well as animal supplies which reduces food miles for the local community
*Allows Steppingley to retain a level of dark sky, as there is no streetlighting in the village.
These are all aspects of Steppingley Parish that should be preserved and protected, for the benefits of all Central Bedfordshire residents.

I know that the Green Belt designation provides a certain level of protection, however I am aware that this can be overridden in certain circumstances. I would therefore like to see stronger protection for this and other similar spaces within the Local Plan.

With reference to the Call for Sites, I agree with your assessment on the following sites within Steppingley:
*NLP085 - Land South of Rectory Rd
*NLP094 - Land north west of Flitwick
*NLP402 - Land at Froghall Farm
*NLP408 - Land south of Steppingley Road

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5981

Received: 28/09/2017

Respondent: Mr Brian Ingram

Representation:

I am appalled by the extent of development around the Flitwick Steppingley area.
The existing development at Steppingley Gardens has increased the Flitwick development boundary considerably. It seems only a matter of time before the village community of Steppingley is swallowed up by Flitwick.It is extremely important to prevent existing settlements merging. It is essential to maintain the rural character of the area with free outdoor recreation and informal activity such as walking and riding. Another key area is the B road from Flitwick, through Steppingley into Woburn. This road has become a busy thoroughfare because of the increased population.

Full text:

I am appalled by the extent of development around the Flitwick Steppingley area.
Steppingley is a beautiful small village surrounded by a green belt area. The existing development at Steppingley Gardens has increased the Flitwick development boundary considerably. It seems only a matter of time before the village community of Steppingley is swallowed up by Flitwick. I sincerely hope this is not the intention, and I am totally against further development in this area.
England is England because of its Rural areas and its Urban districts and if we want England to remain, then we must keep the Rural areas separate. It is extremely important to prevent existing settlements merging. It is essential to maintain the rural character of the area with free outdoor recreation and informal activity such as walking and riding. Footpaths and byways are an essential part of the countryside and must not be lost to accommodate more development. Unfortunately this was ignored with the Development of Centre Parcs locally and it must not happen again.
Another key area is the B road from Flitwick, through Steppingley and Woburn Park, into Woburn. This road has become a busy thoroughfare because of the increased population, and it now has to cope with increased traffic on their way to Milton Keynes. Traffic congestion in the centre of Woburn has increased substantially.

These are all very important reasons why development must remain in Urban districts and not overspill into "The English Countryside". I hope these views are recognised and you can understand my feelings.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 5991

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Elizabeth Stephens

Representation:

The countryside between Steppingley and Flitwick is an important rural gap that provides recreational open space and is an important facility for both Flitwick and Steppingley residents. The area supports important wildlife including crested newts, many bird species and good populations of mammals. It provides fine open aspects and is well used by walkers with good circular countryside walks including the new permissive way at Wood Farm.
In relation to infill development, I do not consider that Steppingley's unique character would support additional development. The community would be destroyed by large scale development of the type proposed in the plan

Full text:

I believe it is very important to recognise and retain the village character and community of Steppingley.

The countryside between Steppingley and Flitwick is an important rural gap that provides recreational open space and is an important facility for both Flitwick and Steppingley residents. The area supports important wildlife including crested newts, many bird species and good populations of mammals. It provides fine open aspects and is well used by walkers with good circular countryside walks including the new permissive way at Wood Farm.

The separation between Flitwick and Steppingley is also important to preserve dark skies - Steppingley does not have street lights and has a very good stars cape as a result - any additional development will destroy this.

In relation to infill development, I do not consider that Steppingley's unique character would support additional development. The community would be destroyed by large scale development of the type proposed in the plan.

I would be grateful if you would take these views into account when considering the plan.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6069

Received: 28/09/2017

Respondent: Mr William Stevens

Representation:

Object to development between Steppingley and Flitwick on coalescence, wildlife, recreation and open space, light pollution, character and appearance grounds.

Full text:

In reviewing the Local Plan, i feel that it is very important to recognise the importance of the countryside between Steppingley and Flitwick. This is an important rural gap that provides recreational open space and is an important facility for both Flitwick and Steppingley residents. The area supports important wildlife including crested newts, many bird species and good populations of mammals. It provides fine open aspects and is heavily used by walkers with good circular countryside walks including the new permissive way at Wood Farm.

The separation between Flitwick and Steppingley is also important to preserve dark skies - Steppingley does not have street lights and has a very good stars cape as a result - any additional development will destroy this.

In relation to infill development, I don't believe that Steppingley's unique character would support additional development. The community would be destroyed by large scale development of the type proposed in the plan.

I would be grateful if you would take these views into account when considering the plan.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6071

Received: 28/09/2017

Respondent: Vivienne Williams

Representation:

Object to development between Steppingley and Flitwick on traffic and road safety, loss of recreational space, wildlife, and coalescence grounds

Full text:

I am concerned that the area south of Steppingley Road Flitwick is at risk of development and how far this development would encroach upon the area of countryside between Flitwick and Steppingley,for the following reasons.

The road between the roundabout and Steppingley ( Flitwick Road) is dangerously busy,fast and winding. In the past 23 years it is totally unrecognisable as the country road approaching a lovely village. We have enormous vehicles ,some of the largest being farm vehicles that need access, and an increased volume of traffic .If more houses are built ,the problem that we have now ,is going to be worse.

The open countryside between Flitwick and Steppingley is very well used,by people from both Steppingley and Flitwick - walkers and horse riders. The fields have far - reaching views, are farmed, and are home to an abundance of wildlife . I have seen bats, woodpeckers,owls,hedgehogs,hares,a semi albino hare,stoats,deer,pheasants,toads,buzzards,red kites,partridges,rooks , bees - to mention just a few. Our children must continue to observe and enjoy nature.We have a duty to them not to deny them the opportunity that we adults have enjoyed.

It is important to maintain divisions between towns and villages.People visit Steppingley because it is a village.It is attractive as a village and people from outside the village come to the restaurants and use the children's playground. We have a cricket club. I do not feel that our village would be as popular if it became part of Flitwick,and our attractions would not be used to the same extent.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6123

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Dr Julia Spivack

Representation:

Need to keep Green Belt between Flitwick and Steppingley
Lost 360 acres of Green Belt to Centre Parcs - loss of amenities
Overwhelming new development on boundary of Steppinley and Flitwick
Increased traffic
Need to preserve rural character and community of Steppingley
Agricultural Land
Conservation Area
Planning Applications have been rejected in Steppingley
Concern for wildlife
Steppingley has a dark sky policy
People come to use the recreation ground

Full text:

1. I have lived in Steppingley for over 23 years and I understand that the greenbelt land between Steppingley and Flitwick and also the greenbelt land within Steppingley is under review for potential residential development. I do not want Steppingley to gradually be converted from rural to suburban.
2. We have already lost 360 acres of greenbelt land to Centre Parcs which represents a great loss of amenity for people to ride their horses and walk their dogs, plus there is already an overwhelming new development of 450 houses on the boundary of Steppingley and Flitwick which has increased the flow of traffic through Steppingley
3. We wish to preserve the rural character and community of Steppingley which would disappear if there were further development. Steppingley is surrounded by working agricultural land (Beckerings Farm and Beechcroft Farm) growing a variety of commercial produce. People in Steppingley keep horses, ducks, chickens - I myself used to keep geese, ducks and chickens
4. Soon after I moved to Steppingley I was advised by a Planning Officer from the former Mid Beds District Council that UPVC windows, doors and conservatories were not permitted as this would not be in keeping with the rural character of Steppingley and its status as a Conservation Area - all windows, doors, conservatories have to be made of wood.
5. When I applied for planning permission for a natural medicine practice one of the criteria I was required to satisfy was that it would not create an unacceptable increase in volume of traffic in Rectory Road yet someone has submitted a proposal (which has been rejected) for a 18-dwelling residential development on the land adjacent to my house which would mean well in excess of 30 additional vehicles using Rectory Road.
6. The land adjacent to my house which has been proposed (and rejected) for infill development is a refuge for Muntjac deer, Chinese water deer, badgers, hares, hedgehogs, pheasants, bats, owls, woodpeckers, kites (birds). There is also an abundance of butterflies
7. Steppingley has a dark sky policy which we value and I am hoping to build an observatory on my house to enjoy the night sky.
8. I know that people come from outside of Steppingley to use the recreation ground with their children and dogs on a daily basis throughout the week and weekends

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6142

Received: 29/09/2017

Respondent: Linda Cremin

Representation:

Object to development on the fields close to Steppingley.
Reasons:
Retain green space to prevent existing settlements merging
Free outdoor recreation
Many open aspect views
Productive farmland including retail farm shop
Observable wild life
Steppingley village has already given up woodland natural walks for centre parks
We have had to forefit a quiet road through the village due to an excessive increase in road traffic because of the houses being built in the surrounding area Increased noise and road pollution
The reason for living in Steppingley is to enjoy a simple country life

Full text:

We strongly oppose any other planning to build houses on the fields close to Steppingley for the following reasons, Retain green space to prevent existing settlements merging Free outdoor recreation and informal activity such as walking riding biking ,due to the fact at the moment I can walk my active dogs over fields without having to use my car reducing carbon footprint which is always being encouraged by the government.
Recreational open space
Many open aspect views,e.g. From flitwick woods from the new permissive way at wood farm,top of the byway towards ridgmont and Steppingley village Productive farmland including retail farm shop which reduces food miles Opservable wild life e.g.many Protected species Dark skies Steppingley village has already given up woodland natural walks for centre parks which has affected many natural walks in and around the woods We have had to forefit a quiet road through the village due to an excessive increase in road traffic because of the houses being built in the surrounding area Increased noise and road pollution The reason for living in Steppingley is to enjoy a simple country life which would be rapidly decreased Future generations will miss and enjoy the raw state to which steppingley enjoys I live in Steppingley I want to enjoy the quite village and know the people I live around which makes me feel secure

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6150

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Louise Simpson

Representation:

Concern about the proposed allocation of sites within Steppingley
I feel strongly that much of Steppingley's unique appeal would be destroyed by large scale development as set out in the draft local plan.
Steppingley offers recreational space and wildlife habitats
Steppingley currently utilises its local and surrounding agricultural land for economic purpose and benefit. This is incredibly important for the village as it provides sustainable economic value and a platform for sustainable farming agriculture in the area.
Infilling could ruin the character of the village while estate development would overwhelm it.

Full text:

I would like to express my concerns with the Local Plan in regard of the proposed allocation of sites within the village of Steppingley for development of housing.
It was Steppingley's unique character and community that attracted us to move to the village two years ago. Since moving to Steppingley our appreciation and love of the village location and the what it offers has grown. I feel strongly that much of Steppingley's unique appeal would be destroyed by large scale development as set out in the draft local plan.
Steppingley currently offers recreational space which is becoming more scarce around Bedfordshire. This not only provides free recreation and informal activity such as walking, riding, cycling, dog walking for locals and people visiting the area, promoting healthy living experiences, but also enables wildlife to inhabit the area. Observable wildlife in the area includes, deer, hares, frogs and toads, owls, crested and common newts as well a range of wild flowers. The current land, provides an environment conducive to such wildlife and is rare.
Steppingley currently utilises its local and surrounding agricultural land for economic purpose and benefit. This is incredibly important for the village as it provides sustainable economic value and a platform for sustainable farming agriculture in the area.
The proposed development is particularly ill-considered given the green belt land and risks the rural character of the area and open aspect views. It is essential to retain green space to prevent existing settlements merging and therefore creating urban sprawl and loss of a unique characterful area of Bedfordshire. The current countryside is valuable to both Steppingley and Flitwick because of the many reasons highlighted. Infilling could ruin the character of the village while estate development would overwhelm it. The proposal would also yield long-term noise pollution which will have a negative impact on the local environment and economy.
There has already been significant development within Flitwick with Steppingley Gardens, further development would not only negativity affect the rural area but would also put additional strain on already stretched local resources and infrastructure. A vast amount of local green belt land has also already been surrendered to the development of the Centre Parcs tourist centre.
I understand that Steppingley Parish Council share these views and wish for these to be taken into account as part of the consultation process. We recognise that housing and infrastructure development is one of the many aspects of a progressive society and fulfilled communities. The council must respect its responsibility to its constituents by championing and defending their interests as a priority. Any development must prioritise both the short- and long-term interests of the local area and its residents.

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6172

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Steppingley Parish Council

Agent: Miss Julie Todd

Representation:

Support the conclusions of the assessments for the following sites:
NLP085
NLP094
NLP402
NLP408

Full text:

See attachment for comments from Steppingley Parish Council

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6173

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Steppingley Parish Council

Agent: Miss Julie Todd

Representation:

Object to inclusion of NLP039 as suitable for development
Site adjacent to an important public ROW affording open aspect views across countryside and productive farmland
ROW forms boundary of the open area and to permit development would offend a number of principles, namely those of the GB and the need to maintain the rural character of the surrounding land
Development would very seriously detract from existing public benefit of the present state of the land
Impact on ROWs, wildlife, dark skies, village life
See attachment for comments on the benefits of land within Steppingley

Full text:

See attachment for comments from Steppingley Parish Council

Attachments:

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6200

Received: 27/08/2017

Respondent: Nicky Kemp

Representation:

I think it is crucial that a clear rural gap is maintained between Flitwick and Steppingley prevent existing settlements merging,maintain the rural character of the area,the space provides outdoor recreation,prevent the loss of productive farmland,maintain the habitat for extensive wildlife.
and so I believe that the Flitwick Development boundary should remain and that the land to the west of Steppingley Road should not be developed
I do not believe that village infill development should be permitted in Steppingley. Steppingley has a unique character. The current infrastructure is not able to support any development without considerable investment.

Full text:

1.I think it is crucial that a clear rural gap is maintained between Flitwick and Steppingley as this would

a) prevent existing settlements merging
b) maintain the rural character of the area
c) the space provides outdoor recreation
d) prevent the loss of productive farmland
e) maintain the habitat for extensive wildlife , including kites , buzzards , badgers ,bats, deer , hares and frogs ,toads, and crested and common newts.

and so I believe that the Flitwick Development boundary should remain and that the land to the west of Steppingley Road should not be developed

2.I do not believe that village infill development should be permitted in Steppingley. Steppingley has a unique character and community which will be severely impacted by infill development.
The current infrastructure is not able to support any development without considerable investment. The utilities provision is poor , and the road infrastructure is currently unable to cope with existing traffic

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6208

Received: 29/09/2017

Respondent: Pauline Henninger

Representation:

Objections on grounds of impact on village businesses, rural character and appearance, agricultural land quality, light pollution and coalescence

Full text:

I have lived in this village for twenty years and see on a daily basis how many people from outside our own community enjoy visiting Steppingley. Our village pub, cricket pitch and our beautiful walks across the many public footpaths make our village a small oasis of calm and countryside which so many people love. Cyclists horse riders and runners are constantly using our village for their enjoyment.

We have a retail farm shop, so much productive farmland and beautiful dark skies that make Steppingley a traditional village.

We should keep Steppingley as a village and not merge with any other settlements maintaining rural character that so many people want and desire.

Development within the village or merging other communities will destroy the lovely experiences of living in and visiting places such as Steppingley and we very much hope this does not happen.

Object

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6218

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Richard Long

Representation:

Concerns regarding proposed allocations in Stepplingley.
The village has a network of footpaths and bridleways for health and recreation.
Developments put unacceptable strain on parking facilities, access and waiting times at Flitwick railway station
Land has sustainable farming agriculture
Hosts many species of wildlife
Further development puts pressure on already stretched local amenities
Development will overwhelm the village in terms of scale, volume of traffic and infrastructure, compromise road safety, Yield long-term noise pollution, Sequester more of our important green belt, Invoke and/or increase the fear of crime, Infilling will ruin the character of the village

Full text:

See attachment

Attachments:

Comment

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6282

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: Messers Olney, Willis & Butterworth

Agent: Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd

Representation:

see full text

Full text:

These representations are submitted on behalf of ours clients, Messrs Olney, Willis and Butterworth, who are promoting land south of Rectory Road, Steppingley (Site reference NLP085). They focus on the Draft Local Plan ('DLP') itself, with separate comments submitted on the Technical Documents published with it that are relevant to our clients' interests, particularly the Site Assessments Technical Document and the conclusion reach on site NLP085.

The comments made here are intended to be constructive in nature, with the aim of seeking to ensure that the final version of the Local Plan can be considered sound when it reaches examination. Whilst supportive of the general direction of the Draft Local Plan (DLP), albeit recognising that the Plan is still very much a partial draft as opposed to a complete document, our clients have concerns about the emerging draft Growth Strategy and whether it will achieve the level of new housing required over the Plan period and needs refining as a consequence. They are also objecting to the failure to review Green Belt boundaries around Small Villages for reasons that will be explained below and in the separate representations on the Green Belt Review and Site Allocations Technical Document.

Policy SP1: Growth Strategy
Our Clients support the key principle underpinning the emerging spatial strategy for Central Bedfordshire outlined in Section 7.1 of seeking to realise the opportunity for sustainable growth provided by Central Bedfordshire's strategic geographical position on the axis of the Oxford to Cambridge corridor and key transport corridors to London; namely the M1, A1, Midland Main Line Railway and the East Coast Railway. Given that Central Bedfordshire is, to a certain degree, competing with much large centres such as Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes and Stevenage, the final version of the Plan will need to be suitably ambitious if this aim is to be achieved.

Our clients are therefore encouraged by the commitment in the DLP to allocate land for a minimum of 20,000 dwellings in addition to those expected to be delivered from existing commitments over the Plan period. In particular, the pledge to provide 7,400 dwellings towards Luton Borough's unmet need on the back of 'duty to cooperate' discussions with neighbouring authorities is welcomed and will hopefully resolve the issues that brought about the withdrawal of the Development Strategy. However, in order to meet the high housing need for Central Bedfordshire, along with the 7,400 dwelling contribution towards Luton Borough's unmet need, our clients are of the view that a total housing target towards the upper end of the range set out in Table 7.2 of the DLP (i.e 31,822 dwellings) will need to be included in the Submission version of the Plan. This is so as to take account of lapse rates, and in acknowledgment that not every site allocated will come forward on time, or even at all. For example, there remain sites in the current adopted Plans for the area that have yet to deliver any housing for various reasons.

Paragraph 7.7.2 of the DLP suggests that the next version of the Plan is likely to include a certain level of growth as a contingency if sites allocated fail to come forward and therefore acknowledges this point. Such an approach of allocating more land than that calculated as being required will be essential in providing a safeguard to ensure the housing numbers needed do actually come forward, and in this respect the Plan could be considered to be positively prepared as required by paragraph 182 of the NPPF.

Our clients do have a fundamental concern with the emerging approach to the Growth Strategy outlined in Policy SP1 and the supporting text, however, which is that it is unlikely to deliver the high level of housing required during the Plan period due to an overreliance on a small number of new settlements (both towns and villages) and sizeable town extensions. Such schemes inevitably have lengthy lead-in times with a greater potential for delays in delivery due to complicated landownership arrangements and the requirement for substantial new infrastructure to facilitate them. One only has to look at the time it took from inception for The Wixams to start delivering housing (Approximately 30 years) as evidence of this.

From a review of the of housing growth locations provided in section 8.5 of the DLP it is evident that all of these will be dependent on the provision of significant new infrastructure and in some cases this infrastructure would need to be funded and/or delivered by third parties and not the Council or the promoters of the site, meaning delivery timescales are even less certain.

The table below highlights this point and the supporting text to Policy SP1 even acknowledges that delivery from some of these sites may extend beyond the Plan period.

Site Major Infrastructure Required
North of Luton Dependent on delivery of the M1 - A6 link road, which is partly being funded by the Government through SEMLEP
Tempsford South and Tempsford Airfield Requires a new train station to form an interchange between East-West Rail and the East Coast Main Line. This is dependent on the Government and Network Rail
New junctions on the A1 and A428 will be required, along with improvements to the A1
New Villages to the East of Biggleswade A comprehensive scheme of highways works is required to mitigate the impact of increased traffic on the A1
Marston Vale New Villages A comprehensive scheme of highway measures is required to mitigate the impact of increase traffic on M1 J13 and the A421
Aspley Triangle A comprehensive scheme of highway measures is required to mitigate the impact of increase traffic on M1 J13 and the A421

There is also a limit to the amount of housing completions achievable from a single site in a year even in a prosperous economic climate. Were the final version of the Plan to rely on too small a number of allocation sites to meet the high housing requirement it would increase the likelihood of shortfalls in the 5 year housing supply occurring during the Plan period, meaning the Council would again be open to hostile planning applications for unallocated sites outside of Settlement Envelopes.

It is therefore imperative that the Submission version of the Plan allocates a higher proportion of the housing requirement to small and medium sized sites, which are generally less complicated and quicker to deliver, in order to ensure that the substantial housing need is met throughout the Plan period.

Our clients are supportive of the principle of a Green Belt Review being undertaken as part of the Local Plan. It is entirely appropriate that the DLP seeks to redress the balance between the north and south of Central Bedfordshire and focuses a significant amount of new housing in the land currently covered by Green Belt. This is long overdue and the exceptional circumstances required by the NPPF certainly exist, as outlined in Section 9.2 of the DLP and evidenced by the supporting technical work as published as part of the consultation. Our clients are, however, disappointed by, and object to, the decision to limit the review of Green Belt boundaries to Large Villages for the reasons outline below.

The Government encourages new housing in rural communities. Paragraph 55 of the NPPF confirms this by stating "To promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities." Further support for new rural housing is contained within the Planning Practice Guidance: Rural Housing where it says, "A thriving rural community in a living, working countryside depends, in part, on retaining local services and community facilities such as schools, local shops, cultural venues, public houses and places of worship. Rural housing is essential to ensure viable use of these local facilities."

In the case of Steppingley, where are clients are promoting land south of Rectory Road, the Settlements Capacity Initial Study acknowledges that there are a number of existing facilities within the village and also that it is in close proximity to the much larger settlements of Flitwick and Ampthill, which have excellent provision of services. It concludes that Steppingley has low capacity for growth, i.e. for up to 50 dwellings.

Our clients are of the view that inclusion of a small residential allocation at Steppingley in the Local Plan would help support the existing facilities there by providing additional custom and would add to the vitality of the village. It would also provide a further choice of homes and opportunities for young people to remain in the village and older people to downsize, freeing up much needed family housing.

The Green Belt boundaries around small villages such as Steppingley have not been reviewed for some considerable time. There is without question land available in such locations that contributes little or nothing to purposes of including land within the Green Belt, such as our clients' land South of Rectory Road, which immediately adjoins the existing settlement of Steppingley and is surrounded by residential dwellings and built form on three sides.

In terms of the five purposes for including land in the Green Belt (Para. 80 of the NPPF) the site is not of a scale such that its development would result in un-restricted sprawl of Steppingley, it would not lead to coalescence with adjacent settlements, it would not lead to significant encroachment into the countryside, there would be no harm to the setting or special character of a historic town, and the allocation of the site would not prevent any derelict or urban land coming forward. The site itself therefore contributes nothing to the purposes of the Green Belt.

Were the Council to commit to reviewing Green Belt boundaries around Small Villages in addition to those at Large Villages the overall contribution from this source would be greater than the 2,000 dwellings currently indicated in Policy SP1. This would reduce the amount of houses needed to be delivered on new settlements and major urban extensions, which as suggested above, have much longer and more challenging delivery programmes. Our clients are therefore of the view that a higher target should be included in the Submission Version of the Plan from villages currently in the Green Belt.

Support

Site Assessment Forms (Housing)

Representation ID: 6730

Received: 29/08/2017

Respondent: NHS Property Services Ltd

Agent: Iceni Projects

Representation:

is considered that the redevelopment of Steppingley Hospital, would contribute to the Council's Housing Need. This site presents an excellent opportunity for a moderate extension to an existing town with good connectivity and access to services.
Should all/part of the subject site be declared surplus to the operational healthcare requirements of the NHS (decision expected within 5 years), it should be considered suitable for alternative uses including a range of residential accommodation, depending on the needs of the local community which may include provision for the elderly.
The site falls within the Green Belt but is evidently previously developed land.

Full text:

see attachments

Attachments: