Call to throw out plan for 25 new homes near Maulden Wood is rejected

editorial image

A call to reject a scheme for 25 homes close to Maulden Wood fell on deaf ears as Central Bedfordshire planners approved the outline proposals.

The plea was made by Conservative Ampthill councillor Paul Duckett, who argued that: “The bottom line is Maulden Wood will be damaged.”

Speaking as a ward member, at a meeting of the council’s development management committee, he said Maulden Wood is a site of special scientific interest.

“It’s as good as it gets in Central Bedfordshire,” he told councillors. “So any development will endanger the biodiversity of the site.

“A 50m buffer between the wood and any development has to hold good.”

He said there are no spare places in the local schools in Maulden and Clophill, and there are no local facilities.

Fellow ward member and Conservative Ampthill councillor Paul Downing, who was also able to address the committee, said the area does need to be protected.

“We are adding car journeys on a route which is already busy. I don’t think those houses at this time is necessarily right.”

Maulden Parish Council chairman Phil Jackson said the loss of one site adjacent to the current plans was regrettable, and “to lose both would be damaging.”

He urged the committee to reject the plan, saying: “It’s one we would regret.”

Catherine Shephard from town planning and building design consultants, J and J design, described the outline scheme as only “illustrative”.

She said: “The scheme will be reviewed further at the reserved matters stage of the planning process.”

Benefits from the development are due to include education funding and improvements for Maulden Village Hall, she told councillors.

The development management committee approved the plans for 25 homes with roads and sewers.