Site ID: 663
Site Assessment Pro Formas
Representation ID: 3721
Respondent: Mrs Veronica Zwetsloot
high grade agricultural land should not be built on
Site Assessment Pro Formas
Representation ID: 8907
Respondent: Bedfordia Developments Ltd and Bedfordshire Charitable Trust Ltd
Agent: DLP Planning Limited
RESPONSE TO SITE ASSESSMENT PRO-FORMA (CALL FOR SITES ID 663)
Introduction to Site and Proposals
3.1 The site was previously submitted to the Council for consideration as part of the Council’s ‘call for sites’ exercise in August 2020, this following on from discussions about the future of the buildings some years previously. The land area being promoted is shown below.
Figure 1: Manor Farm, Knotting
3.2 The site forms part of a larger farm holding and for these purposes extends to approximately 1ha and fronts onto Melchbourne Road and comprises a number of former farm buildings and extensive hardstandings.
3.3 The site is located on the east side of Melchbourne Road in the village of Knotting approximately 10 miles north of Bedford town centre. The access point is feasible via Melchbourne Road, which is a 40mph road. There is no traffic congestion in the area.
3.4 The site currently falls outside of a defined Settlement Policy Area, however, permitted development rights would enable the change of use of the buildings. An allocation of the land for development of the site would enable a more imaginative and beneficial scheme to be
realised, having regard to the site’s setting and opportunities for outstanding design that it represents.
3.5 The site, due to its size and location, is capable of delivering a carefully considered residential development in accord with the existing character of the area, and at a level that may be achieved through the change of use and conversion of the buildings. Given the permitted development rights that apply, the site’s allocation would enhance the scope for a fully contextual development in keeping with the structure, form and character of the area, and its surrounds.
3.6 The site offers small scale, considered growth that will benefit the existing amenities, facilities and services of the settlement and its neighbouring villages. This will ensure the village and the surrounding wider rural area continue to thrive.
3.7 The site has no known environmental, ecological, or archaeological constraints that would inhibit development.
Response to Borough Council’s Site Assessment Pro-Forma (Site ID: 663)
Site Assessment Criteria
3.8 We have reviewed the Council’s assessment of the site and wish to make a number of comments below.
Within or adjoining the urban area or a defined settlement policy area boundary
3.9 The site falls outside of a defined settlement policy area (SPA); however, it should be considered for development. The site forms part of a larger farm holding extends to approximately 1ha. The site offers the opportunity for delivering a carefully considered residential development in accordance with the existing character of the area, and at a level that may be achieved through the change of use of the buildings.
Impact on designated or non-designated heritage assets or their setting
3.10 The Council’s site assessment proforma finds that the proposal has the potential to cause harm to heritage assets, which may range from low to high. The existing buildings are substantial and utilitarian in appearance, and as such there will be options to avoid, reduce
or mitigate this harm, and where sites have not been ruled out altogether for other reasons, further assessment will be undertaken to more fully explore impacts on significance and options for harm reduction and mitigation.
3.11 There are no designated heritage assets within the site itself. A sensitively designed scheme for conversion and redevelopment, subject to suitably worded policy criteria, would form the basis to secure acceptable outcomes and would offer the Council greater control than any change of use under rights for permitted development.
3.12 The Council’s assessment states that protected species have been recorded on the site. This could be addressed through an ecology survey and protected species surveys, if appropriate, and the recommendations and mitigation strategy could be incorporated into any development scheme.
See attachment for appendix