Planning permission granted for 24 new homes in Turvey

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A planning application for new homes in Turvey was approved by Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee, despite officers identifying a “lot of negatives” with the proposed development.

On Monday (June 19) the committee discussed an application to build 24 new homes in the village.

Councillor Jim Weir (Conservative, Great Denham) highlighted the officers’ “massive” report on the application.

“Officers have identified a lot of negatives as well as a lot of positives, so it must have been a very difficult one to strike the balance on,” he said.

“I’d be interested to know because I know I’m going to be asked, what was the deciding factor, what was the key turn?

“Because if you read the report you correctly identify a lot of the issues that have been raised as negatives or cons, as well as the pros.

“Is there one single thing that people might want to revisit?” he asked.

Redline boundary for 24 new homes in Turvey Screenshot of map supplied as part of the application paperwork (21:03304:MAF). Image: LDRS

Gideon Richards, from the council’s planning department, replied: “I don’t think there is one single thing. The report has obviously highlighted the areas where it doesn’t quite or it doesn’t comply fully with policy.

“There’s the equipped natural play area issues, but we’re securing that in terms of not onsite but with financial contributions.

“We’ve limited [the bin collection issues] to three of the units out of the 24 in terms of the drag distances.

“In terms of the biodiversity issue, we would normally look to see that provided on-site, but in this case, there is land immediately within the applicant’s control that does allow that provision and what we can secure through the [section 106 agreement],” he said.

Councillor Mohammed Masud (Labour, Queen’s Park) asked about fire safety, pointing out that the report said the hydrant is about 300 metres away and the flow of the water will be half of the minimum required national guidance.

Mr Richards replied: “It will be covered and be dealt with under the building regulations. But we’ve also secured that as part of the conditions to ensure that there’s sufficient flowing capacity and hydrants close enough to the development to ensure that they are safe in terms of any outbreaks of fire etc.

“So although not all of [the issues] have been fully satisfied, a lot of them have been addressed and on balance given this is an allocated site,” Mr Richards told the committee.

“In terms of the neighbourhood plan we feel that it is something that should be given weight and hence our recommendation to grant planning permission,” he said.

Committee chair, councillor Jonathan Abbott (LibDem, Clapham & Oakley) said: “Compared to a lot of applications which come in front of us in terms of recommendations either to grant or refuse tend to be fairly clear cut.

“This one does seem a little more nuanced in that respect.

“That said, it is within the Turvey neighbourhood plan, it’s an allocated site and it appears to fall within our local plan as well,” he said.

Planning permission was approved (subject to conditions) following a vote by committee members.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter