Villagers lose their campaign to block 58 new homes plan

Bovis Homes plans to build 58 dwellings in Wootten.

Bovis Homes plans to build 58 dwellings in Wootten.

  • Planning committee gives green light to 58 new homes plan for Wootton
  • Objectors say they are ‘disappointed’ by the decision
  • Police, parish councillors and the Environment Agency also objected to the plan
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Campaigners have lost their battle to prevent almost 60 homes from being built on the edge of their village.

Despite residents concerns and objections from Wootton Parish Council, the Environment Agency and Bedfordshire Police, the planning application from Bovis Homes was given the green light.

We understand that there will be building on that piece of land but we are trying to ensure that the plan is as good as it can be, which we don’t believe it is.

Peter Bennett

Campaigner Peter Bennett, whose home backs onto the site on land at Hall End Road, said: “We are very disappointed. There is no right of appeal so there is no where to go.
“We walked away feeling a bit shell shocked.”

The decision was made at a meeting of Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee on Monday evening.

Neighbours to the site raised objections on the grounds of flooding, road safety for schoolchildren and the impact on local infrastructure including roads which will have to cope with the extra traffic that new homes will bring.

Bedfordshire Police also objected on the grounds that the proposed layout of the 58 homes would attract criminal activity.

The force’s architectural liaison officer said that too many through roads would make it easier for crooks to operate and would require additional policing.

Peter said: “We feel quite gloomy that all of the things that we objected about will come to pass.

“We understand that there will be building on that piece of land but we are trying to ensure that the plan is as good as it can be, which we don’t believe it is.”

He said they are keen to keep in contact with Bovis Homes. “What we need to do now is engage with them rather than just walk away,” said Peter.

A Bovis Homes spokesman said: “We can reassure local residents that we are committed to working with the communities in which we build, and we will look to minimise disruption as we deliver these 58 new homes.

“We’re proud to be building in Wootton and these new homes will provide a boost to the local housing market as well as offering affordable properties.

“The other benefits for the rest of the community include the creation of attractive public areas of open space and play, a balancing pond to mitigate flood risk and the allocation of one hectare of land to the school to allow for their expansion.”