‘Our village cannot cope with even more new homes’

Cranfield campaigners met to discuss opposed plans for 230 homes.
Cranfield campaigners met to discuss opposed plans for 230 homes.

A campaign has been launched in a bid to stop the building of up to 230 new homes in Cranfield over fears it could cause a village crisis.

Around 80 people turned out for a public meeting about the housing plans proposed by Gladman Developments for land to the west of Mill Road.

Cranfield campaigners met to discuss opposed plans for 230 homes.

Cranfield campaigners met to discuss opposed plans for 230 homes.

The scheme, if given the green light, will be made up of a mixture of two to five bed bedroom properties.

Householders, who have formed the Stop Over Development in Cranfield group, say the village infrastructure is already feeling the strain and extra homes could push it to breaking point.

Rina Persaud, from the pressure group, said: “We are already having 530 houses constructed across two sites. The general feeling is we just cannot cope with another 230 houses on top of that.

“The schools are full, the roads are absolutely chock-a-block at rush hour and school run times and the doctor’s surgery is up to peak pressure.

“The whole infrastructure in the village won’t be able to cope.”

Established villagers are also concerned about how house building will change the character of Cranfield.

Rina, who has lived there for 20 years, said: “It will change the character of the village. There are a lot of people who have lived here for generations and they are very concerned about losing that village feel.”

The campaign is being backed by Councillor Sue Clarke, who said: “I am completely against these proposals. This site is not identified for development, and Cranfield is already taking 530 new homes towards Central Beds’ housing targets.

“Unplanned development of this kind steps heavily on existing communities and should be resisted.”

MP for the area Nadine Dorries has also put her weight behind objectors saying: “The campaign to stop over-development in Cranfield has my full support. I firmly believe in the principles of localism and that local communities should be empowered to manage their own growth. We know the country needs more houses and this is not about simply stopping development. New construction must be done sensitively and developers must work with local people, not against them.”

Campaigners are now working to raise awareness of the proposal and is urging villagers to submit their objections before consultation period ends on March 17.

The group also hopes to bring the community together to work on ways to better meet the needs of the village’s growing population.

To find out more like the ‘Stop Over Development in Cranfield’ page on facebook and follow @SaveCranfield on Twitter.