Sandy Road, Willington, Bedfordshire
Scale: 2.9 ha, 50 dwellings
A planning application has been submitted for up to 50 dwellings on Sandy Road, Willington, Bedfordshire. Hollins have engaged positively with the community and Parish Council over several years. The site is a proposed allocation for 50 dwellings in the emerging Willington Neighbourhood Plan which has undergone several rounds of consultation. The Neighbourhood Plan has undertaken a site selection assessment and allocated the site in the Regulation 14 version of the Neighbourhood Plan on that basis. The Parish Council and Ward Councillor were notified of the intention to submit an outline application and the reasons why.
The Bedford Borough Local Plan 2030 (BLP) was adopted on 15 January 2020. The BLP sets out the plan for Bedford borough’s growth up to 2030. Policy 4S aims to provide 3,169 new dwellings across the borough. The distribution of this housing aim will allow for 260 dwellings in Rural Service Centres, including Willington. The planning application is submitted on the basis that it accords with the development plan as a whole and therefore should be considered against paragraph 11(c) of the Framework for the following reasons:
- Policy 4S requires between 25 and 50 dwellings to be delivered in Willington in the plan period. Importantly for this site is that it has been specially allocated to meet the housing need in the village with its suitability and delivery being a key reason.
- Criteria vi to ix of Policy 7S exceptionally allow for development in the open countryside where it responds to an identified community need, there is support from the parish council, the scale is appropriate to serve local needs and support facilities and is appropriate in character and form. This proposal meets each of these criteria.
The application proposal would deliver the following benefits;
- The delivery of open market housing of a range of sizes, on a medium sized site, to assist in boosting the supply of housing in the context of Policy 4S which requires between 25 and 50 homes to be delivered in Willington by 2030, which would accord with paragraph 68 of the Framework;
- The delivery of 30% affordable housing which accords with Policy 58S and would assist in meeting the identified affordable housing need in Policy W8 of the draft Neighbourhood Plan. In Bedford generally, there is a shortfall of 552 affordable homes since 2003 and the need going forward is 278 affordable homes per annum.;
- Highway improvements, which are:
- New footway connections to Wood Lane and Sandy Road;
- Small roundabout on Sandy Road providing a traffic calming measure; and,
- Improvements to the orientation of the Fiveways junction, to improve safety, subject to approval from Bedford Highways.
- A development of an appropriate scale at an accessible Rural Service Centre, close to the edge of Bedford, that accords with the spatial strategy as expressed in Policy 4S;
- The provision of a green boulevard edge and outdoor community open space (1.06ha) to meet the needs of existing and proposed residents as required by Policy W8 of Willington Neighbourhood Plan;
- Retaining and enhancing existing woodland features in the site to achieve a net biodiversity gain; and;
- A range of social and economic benefits including the provision of New Homes Bonus, CIL, Council Tax revenue now, construction jobs and increase spending for local services and facilities.