119 Homes To Be Approved on Houghton Regis Green Belt?
Planning Application No: CB/19/02130/FULL (Houghton Hall)
Address: The Gates, Land East of Bedford Road, Bidwell, Houghton Regis, (nearest postcode: LU5 6JP)
"Demolition of existing residential dwelling and erection of 119 dwellings including the creation of a new vehicular access, recreational open space,parking infrastructure and associated landscaping and ancillary works."
Applicant: Jarvis Homes Ltd
This application is Recommended For Approval by council officers. The application is a departure from the Development Plan and the Town Council have objected so the application was referred to the Development Management Committee. The Committee is not meeting due to the pandemic, and instead a Panel will meet and pass on their thoughts to the Chief Executive of Central Bedfordshire Council, Richard Carr.
Meanwhile, Chalgrave Parish Council held virtual meetings on Tuesday this week using Zoom, and Dunstable Town Council held a virtual Plans meeting via Microsoft Teams on the same day. CBC also has the powers to hold virtual meetings.
The Leader of Central Bedfordshire Independent group, Cllr Adam Zerny has strongly criticised CBC for this 'panel' , which he also claims was not a decision taken by councillors as no vote was taken. (read Cllr Zerny account on Facebook)
From the Panel's Agenda:
"The Development Management Panel will meet virtually to discuss the reports contained within this agenda and share any preference they might have on the officer recommendations.This will not be a formal meeting nor will it have any decision making powers. It is purely to give members of the Panel an opportunity to share their views on a number of reports.
"A note of the meeting will be prepared as a record of the Panel's discussion.
"Any subsequent decisions made by the Chief Executive under his emergency powers will be informed by the advice received from the Panel.
"A member of the public who wants to make their views known on an application, should inform their local ward Member of those views by 5.00 p.m. on 23 April.
"A Member, including ward Members, who wants to make their views or the views of a member of the public known on an application, should do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 5.00 p.m.on 24 April."
Comment by MM: 'Virtual' DMC scheduled for 27th April, agenda recommends approval for The Gates. Will Chief Exec sign-off if 'Virtual' DMC is minded to approve? Is this how major housing schemes should be determined?
Footnote:A decision on this application in Bidwell was postponed by the CEO of CBC.
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