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5. Rural Policy Area Allocations

5.1 This chapter of the Allocations and Designations Local Plan allocates sites in the Rural Policy Area for development. This includes development sites for housing, employment, retailing, recreation, leisure and community facilities, infrastructure and services (Travelling Show People sites and existing employment site designations are considered separately in Chapter 4 and Chapter 9). Sites are allocated if they meet a clearly identified need, are suitable, available and their allocation would accord with the Rural Policy Area and other policies in the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan.

5.2 The key spatial strategy policies against which proposed allocations need to be considered are Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan Policies CP13 and CP14. The key requirement for allocations in the Rural Policy Area is that they meet a proven need. Some types of development such as low key countryside recreation uses may need to be in rural areas. Other forms of development however will normally be required to demonstrate “need” for the development in that location before a site allocation is made (as well as the site being acceptable in other ways). Strategic housing land requirements to 2021 can be met on existing sites. Strategic employment land requirements can be met by sites within the Growth Area and there is no need at this time for additional strategic employment land allocations in the Rural Policy Area. Therefore “need” for additional housing and employment sites requires to be shown on a local basis.

5.3 Sites for fewer than 2 dwelling units in the Rural Policy Area have not been identified through the Allocations and Designations Local Plan process even where they meet development plan policies. Sites of that size can more appropriately come forward through the development management process without the need for an allocation or specific policy.

5.4 The following sites have been assessed as meeting a clearly identified need and being in accordance with national policy guidance and the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan.

Policy AD20 Land at Bedford Road, Great Barford

Land identified at Bedford Road, Great Barford will be developed for a primary care facility and residential use. Key principles of the development include:

  1. Residential development of approximately 1.4 ha.
  2. Land to provide a site for a primary care facility of approximately 0.4 hectares, on the frontage to Bedford Road together with a financial contribution towards the primary care facility.
  3. Improvements to transportation networks, including:
    1. New footway on Bedford Road.
    2. Provision for a potential pedestrian link to Silver Street.
    3. Exploring the opportunity for school bus stop and drop-off parking and incorporate provision if appropriate.
    4. New junction with right turn lane.
    5. Improvements to pedestrian and cycle networks including crossing of Bedford Road.
  4. Preparation of a transport assessment and travel plan for the site.
  5. Flood risk assessment to be submitted at planning application stage to address surface water drainage.
  6. Pre-determination archaeological evaluation.

5.5 NHS Bedfordshire identified a need for a new doctors’ surgery to serve Great Barford and the surrounding villages. It is envisaged that a site of about 0.4 ha will be required to be located close to Bedford Road with the remainder of the site being allocated for housing. The opportunity to provide a bus stopping place and drop-off parking for the nearby school is to be investigated and provided if appropriate as part of this development. Pre-determination archaeological evaluation work is required due to potentially significant archaeological remains on this site.

Policy AD21 Land at Chawston Lakes, Roxton Road, Wyboston

Land identified at Chawston Lakes, Wyboston will be developed for a holiday fishing village. Key principles of the development include:

  1. Provision of single storey waterside chalets of a design and number sensitive to the rural character of the site.
  2. A single café/fishing tackle shop of a size commensurate with the scale of development proposed.
  3. Retention of trees on the lake edge together with provision of additional landscaping and replacement hedgerow on the Roxton Road frontage where the existing hedgerow is affected by the formation of the access.
  4. Chalets, pedestrian accesses and fishing piers to have level access, to facilitate use by the disabled.
  5. Access to be provided from Roxton Road to meet visibility standards and speed reduction measures on Roxton Road as appropriate.
  6. Pre-determination archaeological evaluation.
  7. A Heritage Statement comprising an assessment of the effect of the proposals on the setting and significance of designated and undesignated heritage assets, in particular scheduled monuments 11555 (Chawston Manor moated site with associated fish pond) & 11531 (Moated enclosure and associated building platforms).
  8. Ecological survey management plan with measures to protect and promote biodiversity of the site to be prepared.
  9. Submission of a ground contamination survey to be required as a condition of any planning consent.
  10. Details of foul water drainage to be clarified.

5.6 The site at Chawston Lakes comprises former gravel pits (and surrounding pasture land) which are fished by a local club. The proposal is to allocate the site for a holiday fishing village to provide a low key recreation facility based on fishing tourism that can offer daypasses and weekend passes with lodging. It is envisaged the site would be developed for about 8 small single storey room “chalets” around the western body of water with a single café/fishing tackle shop to serve the site and a central parking/turning area.

5.7 Pre-determination archaeological evaluation work is required due to potentially significant archaeological remains on this site.

5.8 Development on this site will have an impact on the surrounding historic environment, which will include the setting of designated heritage assets. A heritage statement will be required in order to understand the potential impact of the proposed development on the significance of any heritage assets affected.

Policy AD22 Land North of Ravensden Road, Salph End, Renhold

Land identified north of Ravensden Road, Renhold will be developed for affordable housing. Key principles of development include:

  1. Provision of no more than two dwellings.
  2. Dwellings to relate to existing adjacent development in terms of size and scale.
  3. Existing road access from Abbey Close to be utilised for the new dwellings if highway standards can be met or other suitable alternative agreed.
  4. Legal agreement to control occupation and management.

5.9 The site is proposed for allocation for 100% affordable housing. Any planning application will need to ensure that the built development is located within the area of the site within flood zone 1 and demonstrate that a safe vehicular access to the site and adequate parking can be achieved. It is intended that the site would be managed by Renhold Charities Trust who provide affordable housing for single people in Renhold. It is adjacent to four other dwellings owned by the charity which provides housing for people from Renhold or with a close association to Renhold who are in need.

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