Biddenham House, 2 Gold Lane, Biddenham – Objection issued

the following objection has been issued:

Ms Rachel Duncan
Planning Department
Bedford Borough Council
5 January 2018

Dear Ms Duncan
Application 17/03101/FUL Biddenham House, 2 Gold Lane, Biddenham MK40 4AJ

 The society wishes to object to the above application for the following reasons:

    • Gold Lane is narrow at the point of access to the site and a further 16 vehicles (@ 2/dwelling) would exacerbate the hazards associated with this section of road.
    • The house and property lie within the Biddenham Conservation Area and at the heart of this historic village.  The construction of new dwellings on the site would be totally out of keeping with this part of Biddenham and the character of the surrounding buildings.
    • The southern boundary of the property is directly adjacent to the village green and 50m from it. The 2016 Conservation Area Appraisal notes the value of the focal point of the village green, the key views to and from it, the prolific greenery and open spaces, deep grass verges and the extensive private open gardens, all contributing to the special interest of Biddenham.  This attractive setting is complemented by the views of Biddenham House across the site.
    • There are eight historic properties or features visible within 100m of the site boundaries:
      i). 63 Main Road, The Forge (C17th former blacksmith’s cottage)
      ii). 48-50 Main Road, Horseshoe Cottage (C17th Listed Grade 2)
      iii). 42 Main Road, Lavender Lodge (C18th former farmhouse and the oldest house in the village)
      iv). 67 Main Road, The Old Vicarage (C18th Listed Grade 2 with the prominent Cedar of Lebanon tree planted in 1875 by a former vicar)
      v). 67a Main Road, Groom’s Cottage (C17th former carriage house, stables and tack room)
      vi). 1-3 Gold Lane, Dawn Cottage (C17th Listed Grade 2, former dairy, cobbler and costumier)
      vii). 8-10 Duck End (C16th limestone rubble cottage built over the remains of a Roman Road)
      viii). The entrance to The Coffin Path from Gold Lane (C16th field track for coffins to be carried to St James Church)
      The proposed new buildings on this plot would destroy the historic 360 degree perspective enjoyed from the village green.
    • The main part of Biddenham House was built circa 1766 and is the only surviving example of an C18th double pile, polite, small country house in the village. It is alleged the property was used as a hunting lodge by a Duke of Marlborough.  The 2016 Conservation Area Appraisal describes the house as having positive merit, with the setting of the house on the north side of the village green aiding the distinctiveness of this area. Its demolition would represent an unacceptable loss of a part of Biddenham’s heritage.

    The application is in conflict with the 2002 Local Plan saved policies BE11, BE13, BE15, NE18, and H24 i), ii), iv), and Policy CP21 iv) of the 2008 Core Strategies and Rural Issues Plan, and we urge its rejection.

    Dr Tony Wood    Chairman

    The Biddenham Society  Chairman Dr Tony Wood
    34 Church End, Biddenham, Bedford MK40 4AR
    telephone 01234 349395 e-mail: tony.wood@redrobin.me.uk

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