Bidwell Heights - New Scheme for 336 Homes Close to Chalk Pit

A reserved matters planning application in relation to the appearance, scale and landscaping of a development site known simply as Parcels 5a and 5b within the HRN2 (Bidwell West) scheme, under permission CB/15/00297/OUT, as identified on the approved “Open Space and Development Parcel Phasing Plan” (approved June 2015) has been submitted.

The plot of land is situated to the west of Plaiters Way and sandwiched between Bluewaters Wood and the edge of the Houghton Regis Chalk Pit.

The scheme is for 336 new homes, comprising 122 dwellings for Private Sale, 113 dwellings SIGMA, 101 dwellings Affordable, plus land for allotments, open space, footpaths, and play areas.

There will be a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties, and a mixture of affordable and open market dwellings. Type and heights will be detached, semi-detached and terraced houses of 2 and 2.5 storeys.

The planning application, CB/19/03232/RM, consists of a number of plans, house types, street scenes and landscape designs. The application site relates to all land edged red. The application site itself is currently an arable field and is steeply undulating in certain areas, extending to some 9.6 hectares, which will be separated into two parcels. These two parcels are separated by a finger of existing woodland and areas of strategic public open space.

Proximity to Plaiters Way (on the right)
Proximity to Coopers Way

A new spine road, ultimately emerging at Thorn Road, will serve the development. Land immediately to the south of the Blue Waters wood can be particularly boggy as springs emerge along the chalk escarpment leading away from the quarry edge and the developers will be avoiding this area.

Street scene

Proposed materials will include buff bricks, reconstituted stone and timber, to give a more rural feel to this area of the Bidwell West development. An accompanying Energy Statement produced by Countryside Properties Ltd details a fabric first approach to the building envelope to increase thermal efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. The Energy Statement also highlights other features which will be designed into the build to assist in reducing water consumption, maximise the energy efficiency of the heating system and reduce energy usage through energy-efficient lighting and appliances.

The total scheme for Bidwell West (CB/15/00297/OUT) will deliver up to 1,850 dwellings (Use Class C3); 2 FE Primary School (D1); employment land (Use Classes B1 [a-c], B2 and B8); local centre comprising retail (A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5); and community/leisure uses (D1 and D2); layout of public open spaces including sports pitches and changing rooms; natural wildlife areas and all associated  works  and operations including  engineering  operations  and earthworks. The number of dwellings to be built includes 30% affordable homes, subject to viability testing, to meet the needs of Central Bedfordshire and Luton residents.

Find out more about the plans at the Central Bedfordshire Planning website and search for CB/19/03232/RM (direct link to documents). Comments can be sent by email to

Discuss planning applications on Houghton Regis Planning Applications Facebook Group.

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