Oakwell Park Planning Application Refused As Building is Listed At Grade II

An application to redevelop an area that includes parkland and a county wildlife woodland site with a scheduled monument, and a house that is being considered for a formal listing with a Building Preservation Notice, has been turned down.

A decision notice has appeared on the Central Bedfordshire Council Planning website today, as decided on 28 July 2017, delegated to council officers.

A campaign was launched by Alan Winter, editor at Houghton Regis News Desk, in January 2017, and gained 350 supporters in the first week, with 523 supporters at the end of July 2017.

Of particular note to the "Save the Building" campaign, the refusal of the outline planning permission states, "The proposed development would also necessitate the demolition of the existing house at Oakwell Park and its associated buildings which comprise heritage assets with both intrinsic and regional significance which are currently being considered for formal listing and subject to a Building Preservation Notice. Demolition of the dwelling and associated buildings would result in harm to the significance of these heritage assets. The proposed residential development is in conflict with the principles contained within the Houghton Regis (North) Framework Plan which requires that development proposals seek to preserve and enhance the heritage assets within and surrounding the site."

Additionally, the refusal notice also says the development would have a 'major adverse impact upon the setting of the scheduled monument.'  It 'would result in the removal of a number of protected trees that are considered to have a high amenity value which would be harmful to the landscape and green infrastructure value of the site'. There was also concern over cycle and foot access as well as highway capacity close to the site, and lack of an agreement for 30% affordable housing.

You can read the full refusal notice on the Councils Planning Website.

Alan Winter said today, "All that remains for me to say, is, 'thank you very much for being one of the 523 that signed the petition. It couldn't have happened without your help.'

◘ August 2017 — Oakwell Park has been listed at Grade II by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport. It is therefore no longer under threat and cannot be altered or demolished without specific consent.