A Senior Planning Casework Manager for the Government has said he is taking representations from the public on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Despite representations from local councillors and the Town Clerk, Central Bedfordshire Council earlier this month gave the go ahead for a full planning application for 169 new homes on a Bedford Road meadow, and outline planning permission for 62 dwellings on land behind the old Red Lion (See story).
When asked if the public could make representations, the caseworker replied:
"Central Bedfordshire Council has referred two applications to the Secretary of State under the terms of consultation arrangements that apply because the sites are both within the Green Belt. The applications are for development on land at Bedford Road (CB/14/03056/FULL) and land to the rear of The Old Red Lion (CB/14/03047/OUT).
The Secretary of State is not reviewing the merits of these proposals or the manner in which the council has handled the applications. Instead, a decision will be made on whether the Secretary of State should call in the applications for his own decision having regard to Government call in policy. In deciding this, the Secretary of State does not hold a consultation exercise because this has already been undertaken by the local planning authority. However, it is possible for an interested party to make representations to the Secretary of State while the case is before him. The council is prevented from granting permission for a period of up to 21 days ending on 9 March. You should therefore submit any comments to me at this email address at your earliest convenience.
Senior Planning Casework Manager