High emotions as developer submits plans for 660 homes west of Cockernhoe

Land at Cockernhoe
Land at Cockernhoe

The Crown Estate has submitted plans to build 660 new homes on land to the west of Cockernhoe, it has been revealed.

Last month, North Hertfordshire District Council agreed its Local Plan, which included allocating land east of Luton for development.

The land had been classified as greenbelt and the prospect of housing attracted dozens of letters of opposition from local residents.

The Crown Estate’s strategic land manager Steve Melligan said: “This scheme will have an extremely positive long term impact for the area, helping to meet local needs for new housing and bringing forward investment in local services and infrastructure.”

But others remain unconvinced.

Luton resident Carolyn Cottier – who campaigned against the greenbelt land being allocated for development – said the application lacked the necessary masterplan for the development site.

She said: “It will completely destroy our area, there’s nothing positive that will come from this as far as the residents here are concerned. They would much rather have their greenbelt and enjoy the general beauty of the land.”

The design and access statement prepared on behalf of the Crown Estate describes the proposed estate bordering Mangrove Green to the north, Cockernhoe to the east and extending as far as the eastern border of Luton.

The estate would offer 40% affordable housing and cater for a mixture of dwelling types, including detached, semi-detached, and terraced houses, with a mixture of two, three, four and five bedrooms.

Provision could also be made for flats although the precise housing mix has yet to be determined.

Access to the site would be from the southeast off Luton Road with an emergency access to the northeast from Mangrove Road.

The King William pub in Mangrove Green, local shops on Westway and Cockernhoe Primary School were all cited as nearby facilities.

Residents have until October 21 to submit comments to North Herts District Council. A decision is expected to be reached by December 21. 
The Crown Estate’s plans can be viewed online through the North Hertfordshire District Council planning portal. (Application reference: 16/02014/1).