Strategic Residential and Commercial Development at Marston Moretaine, Central Bedfordshire
Date of Article
Aug 03 2015

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03 August 2015, The Cambridge Planning Team has secured a resolution to grant planning permission for a residential led mixed-use scheme at Marston Moretaine in Central Bedfordshire on behalf of Hallam Land Management. The scheme comprised an outline planning application for up to 365 dwellings, a care home and up to 0.42ha of land to provide for B1 Business use; and/or A1/A2/A3 uses and/or D1 uses.

Acting on behalf of Hallam Land Management, Mark Hyde a Partner in the Cambridge Office, secured an allocation of land in the Council’s adopted development plan to provide housing, employment and a ‘contingency’ housing site of 11 ha to meet development needs post 2021. Planning permission for a Phase 1 scheme of 125 dwellings and 7ha of light industrial and warehousing land uses was secured in 2012.


Source: CSa

A key planning challenge lay in the client’s instruction to secure an alternative scheme on the consented employment land for housing and appropriate village scale employment provision in addition to permission for housing on the ‘contingency’ site.

A further challenge to overcome was local resistance to the development of the site. Significant public consultation was carried out including extensive design workshops with the neighbourhood planning group and Parish Council; and also a public exhibition. As a direct result of this community liaison, the application received objection from only one residence within the area.

The Carter Jonas Planning Team were able to successfully argue that the proposed employment uses were undeliverable having regard to market demand and other material constraints. Similarly the Planning Team presented a case for more appropriate local job creation through the provision of a care home and small scale flexible use units.

The application was referred to Central Bedfordshire Council’s Planning Committee with a recommendation of approval by officers. Members of the committee voted unanimously to approve the application and in doing so praised the community engagement that had been carried out.

The case study highlights how engaging professional planning advice throughout the promotion of a site can ensure not only that an allocation for development is secured, but that opportunities may then be identified to deliver development that is both commercially more attractive and more quickly than anticipated.

A further challenge to overcome was local resistance to the development of the site. Significant public consultation was carried out including extensive design workshops with the neighbourhood planning group and Parish Council; and also a public exhibition. As a direct result of this community liaison, the application received objection from only one residence within the area.