Plans for up to 61 new homes in Toddington approved after previous scheme denied over safety concerns

Plans for up to 61 houses on a seven-acre site in Toddington have been approved, after a similar scheme was rejected last year.

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 13th June 2022, 2:48 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 3:04 pm

Landcrest Developments Limited and Hayfield Homes submitted outline plans for the properties on land to the east of Leighton Road and off Russell Road in the village.

The remaining two-and-a-half acres belongs to Bloor Homes, according to a report to Central Bedfordshire Council’s development management committee.

Planning officer Andrew Cundy explained: “This site was allocated for housing in our adopted local plan. The whole area would accommodate about 92 properties.

An aerial view of Toddington

“This application is for up to 61 homes on the south-east part of this allocation. Planning permission was refused on the same site in November.

“The committee was concerned the proposal failed to show a safe, suitable and convenient access was provided for vehicles.

“Access is proposed from Russell Road and a planning condition suggested to provide a link to the north-west section.”

The housing would include 30 per cent affordable and ten per cent self-build, said the report.

Toddington parish councillor John Coleman told the committee: “I don’t understand how an application which hasn’t been changed in any meaningful way can come back.

“The parish council considers the 61 homes too many, while the density should be reduced to allow biodiversity targets to be met,” he said.

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“With the only access from Russell Road, the health and safety of local residents will be severely compromised.

“From what I gather the developer has made no attempt to talk to Bloor Homes to get access across to the site.”

Russell Road resident Mark Young referred to all their concerns being “ignored or dismissed” because the proposals have been resubmitted with the one access route.

Independent Toddington councillor Silvia Collins suggested many more trips would result if smaller construction vehicles are used and called for a development brief covering the whole site, if the committee could authorise it.

“What will the situation be like when what we expect to be 15,000 plus trips, over the anticipated 20-month building time, hits the village?” she asked.

Independent Toddington councillor Mary Walsh agreed the major concern is the access, saying: “This site is being built at high density, which will eventually lead to parking problems.

“It’s close to Dropshort Marsh, which is a protected area (of special scientific interest). And it’s not in keeping with the rural surroundings, with its location at the edge of the settlement or the open countryside beyond.”

Director with agent Woods Hardwick Planning Limited Richard Murdock, on behalf of the applicant, said: “Hayfield Homes will be building out the scheme, if planning permission is granted.”

He was disappointed with the committee’s previous decision, but accepted councillors had insufficient information whether the access would be safe and suitable for construction vehicles.

Extensive on-street parking surveys have been prepared, and the route safety considered “providing substantial new details which haven’t been refuted or challenged by experts”, he added.

Councillors approved the development with eight votes in favour and three against.