DEVELOPER PLANS 300 HOUSES TO GRAB MOST OF THE FARMLAND WEST OF GOLD LANE
On 31st October 2017 a meeting was held between interested parties and the proposed developers of a modest area of farmland west of Gold Lane bounded by Gold Lane to the east, Bromham Road to the north and Duck End Lane to the south, on which the local authority had suggested 160 dwellings would be appropriate. Those attending included local councillors, the Parish Council and Friends of Biddenham Pond as well as the Biddenham Society. The developers Curtin and Co. were accompanied by a representative from Lioncourt Strategic Land.
The Biddenham representatives were astonished instead to be confronted with a plan for 300 houses covering an area nearly four times that provisionally suggested by the local authority as appropriate. Houses would completely surround Duck End Lane as far south as the village pond, and extend west to the footpath between the church and the Bromham bypass. Whilst the developers insisted the plans presented were only ‘Work in progress’ it was very clear that any adverse views expressed would make no difference to the overall size of the scheme proposed.
The developer’s tactics were seen by all present as a flagrant attempt to grab most of our remaining open space for the pecuniary gain of themselves and the landowners, and without any regard for the effects on the village and its residents. Our unanimous opposition was made clear, and in a subsequent private discussion the next course of action to be taken to prevent the proposed development was decided.
6 thoughts on “DEVELOPER PLANS 300 HOUSES TO GRAB MOST OF THE FARMLAND WEST OF GOLD LANE”
A second meeting with the developers was held on 20 December 2017. They produced two sets of revised plans, both of which removed the properties south of Duck End Lane and thereby reduced the number of houses proposed to 250.The plans had alternative single access points onto Gold Lane and the Bromham by-pass. They intend to submit an outline planning proposal based on one of these early in the New Year. We asked a few questions for clarification, but otherwise made few comments by prior agreement between ourselves. The next key event will be the Parish Council meeting on 3 January, at which we will formally constitute a small group to represent key village interests in the tussles to come.
Unsurprisingly, I imagine that everyone in the village objects to this proposal. Even 160 houses is too many as they will destroy the rural nature of that part of the village – 300 is unbelievable. Having said that, the Borough Council and hence Parish Council are under great pressure to find more places to build homes.
Rather than merely responding to such proposals in a way that can be seen as pure “nimbyism”, we residents and the PC need to adopt a more proactive approach, which reviews possibilities and proposes solutions to the BC. I’m sure a positive approach will win more acceptance from the BC than a simple “No” response.
The Biddenham Society have corrected me that they stated the housing estate development at Gold Lane was “the least worst option”.
Definition of least worst option is “a best out of a group which are all undesirable or of poor quality”.
I repeat I cannot understand the Biddenham Society comment on this disasterous proposal for Gold Lane and Biddenham as being the best of the options for development in Biddenham.
Perhaps they would let us know why this was the best one of the proposals?
Robert’s comments are inaccurate on a number of counts. The Biddenham Society believes the original local authority proposal for the erection of 160 houses to the northern end of this area was the ‘least worse option’ (not the best worst option as he states), and certainly not the 300 proposed by the developer which the society cannot support under any circumstances. This is clearly stated in the minutes of the recent 5th November AGM published on this blog, which Robert clearly has not read in view of his comment that minutes have not been published on this matter.
Robert also states that the issue has not been discussed, which it has – at the same AGM. If he attends future AGMs of the society he would find out about all current proposals for Biddenham including this one and be better informed as a result. As a past member of the society’s committee I am surprised he is not aware of this. The added bonus for him would be that if he really thinks we are ‘not fit for purpose’ he could propose we be voted out!
I find it difficult to understand that the Biddenham Society say development at Gold Lane is the best worst option. This is ridiculous as the development proposed is for 300 houses and a commercial centre and is far larger than any other proposals for Biddenham. The Biddenham Society and the Parish Council are failing the people of Biddenham as It is not being discussed in committee or minutes published on the issue. This is a disaster for Biddenham and if this is not understood by the Biddenham Society and the Parish Council then these organisations are not fit for purpose.
I am a Biddenham resident ( Days Lane ) for 42 years and I have seen the astonishing enlargemnet of the village throughout that time. I feel very disappointed as a village we have not been able to hold more control over its development.
I run a land and development land agency and am well versed with how strategy planners go about there work, breaking down communities and bullying councils into planning gains. I feel it is time for me to throw my hat in the ring and make myself available in helping the village fight back. To try and help us gain rigid respect and to lose the tag we have for continually losing planning battles. There is much we can do to protect ourselves but this must be a pro active approach and not reactive. Don`t we think enough is enough. The latest proposal for Duck End actually turned my stomach when I had the Lioncourt letter through my door today.
If you visit my website at http://www.taylorpropertyconsultants.com you will see the experience I can bring to the table.This totally on a voluntary basis.
I look forward to hearing back,
Time: November 16, 2017 at 10:43 am
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