Bidwell Heights - Go Ahead for New Build Despite Crime Concerns

A development of 336 homes has been given the go ahead under delegated powers by Central Bedfordshire Council despite Bedfordshire Police having concerns that the layout would encourage crime.

The site is situated between the SSSI Houghton Regis Chalk Pit edge and Blue Waters woodland.

Much of this land between the chalk pit edge on the right,
 and the woodland to the left,
 is due to be built upon as a result of this planning decision.

Bedfordshire Police Liaison Objected to the scheme, 'as it is considered that the proposed layout and design would present opportunities for crime'.

See planning layout - (pdf)

Another key concern came from Wildlife Trusts BCN who also drew attention to anti-social behaviour. Their concerns are listed as,

'Concerns regarding development so close to the chalk cliffs associated with the SSSI. The Trust strongly recommend that a robust engineering operation is designed and incorporated into the plans, at this stage of the process, to ensure that the stability of the chalk cliff is not weakened as part of any development that takes place in this location. The Trust also consider that there should be a barrier to access the cliffs to stop any anti-social behaviour. There is a long-term history of anti-social behaviour at the site.'

There were other objections, summarised as:
The layout is too close to the chalk cliffs and should accommodate a footpath
Would like to see the visitor centre included within the proposal.
If approved then 336 swift boxes should be included on the dwellings
Question what safeguards would be in place to prevent access and anti-social behaviour to the SSSI.
Lack of tree screening to the SSSI
Lack of infrastructure
Overdevelopment of the site- Construction noise- Impact upon road capacity.

On the whole other commentators were in favour. To find out more, read the reports below:

Officers report

Decision notice

This report refers to planning application at Bidwell Heights: go to and search for CB/19/03232/RM

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