Bedford Borough Council
A development of 165 dwellings on this 43.8 acre site is located on the northern edge of the town of Bedford, Bedfordshire.
The site comprises arable farmland subdivided into three fields. Having been recommended by a Rosconn customer, the landowner got in touch with Rosconn Strategic Land in March 2018 to discuss the possibility of becoming a development partner for their land.
The site was identified as a proposed allocation for approximately 100 dwellings and an extension to Brickhill Country Park within the emerging Bedford Local Plan 2030. A promotion agreement with the landowner was completed in November 2018 and an Outline Planning Application was submitted on 18th March 2019 to Bedford Borough Council (BBC). This had followed a comprehensive pre-application submission to the Council and early engagement with the local community and key stakeholders in order to demonstrate how a greater quantum of development could be accommodated on the site whilst respecting the landscape constraints of the area. Conversations with BBC continued during the life of the application, and we were ultimately able to satisfy officer’s that a scheme for 165 dwellings was appropriate for the location, delivering a substantial increase in the number of homes initially identified on the site by the council.
The application was originally reported to planning committee on 25th November 2019 where members deferred a decision to enable a site visit. However, at the subsequent planning committee on 16th December 2019, members resolved to grant planning permission subject to signing of the Section 106 agreement. The accompanying Planning Agreement secured a range of community benefits including up to 50 much needed affordable homes, a 10-hectare extension to Brickhill Country Park, contributions to improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity and on-site play facilities.
Post achieving a resolution to grant planning permission for 165 houses, Rosconn engaged with the landowners and their agent Fisher German in relation to the marketing strategy. It was agreed that the site would be put to a list of housebuilders, while waiting for the s106 agreement to be signed. After an extremely competitive marketing process, the successful party was Mulberry Homes. This effective marketing process was accomplished during the early stages of the Covid 19 lockdown. Due to a combination of resourcing issues at the Borough Council and the global pandemic, significant delays were subsequently experienced in progressing negotiations in respect of the various planning obligations, but the perseverance of Rosconn and its Consultant Team was ultimately rewarded with the planning agreement and decision notice finally being issued in November 2020.
Our client was extremely happy with Rosconn’s ability to secure a greater scale of development on the site and the high level of customer care they received throughout the entire process and have gone on to recommend us to other landowners which is always a sign of a positive experience between promoter and landowner client.