East End Farm planning application approved
Planning for 48 new homes in Cranfield was approved today (15 August 2018) by Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) Development Management Committee .
Fears that the village doctors’ surgery would be under more strain from more new homes wasn’t enough to refuse or delay the application.
NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) said that the surgery at Cranfield is considered to be severely constrained. It said that as of 1 July 2018 the practice has 27.2 patients per m2. This is considered to be extremely high in comparison to the region’s average of 22.
In a letter to the committee, ward councillor Mrs Sue Clark said that the surgery is less than half the size it needs to be. She said:
“The delivery of new health facilities is long over due. It is the number one issue in Cranfield.
“When is the tipping point reached when the surgery just can not keep taking new patients?”
Cllr Clark’s letter asked that a condition be put in place to prevent occupancy of the site until a new surgery is built.
Martin Plummer, a CBC planning officer said that such a condition cannot be put in place on such a small development.
Lack of health facilities are not just a Cranfield problem
Cllr Tom Nicols said that health is a common issue across the authority and not only Cranfield. He felt that the BCCG doesn’t have the weight that a statement direct from the NHS would. He said that it would be different if the NHS had said that it couldn’t cope.
Speaking against the application, Cllr Steve Dixon said:
“How much longer do our residents have to endure increasing pressures on services?”
After 90 minutes of debate, the vote was 6-4 in favour of approving the outline planning application. All matters for this application are to be reserved, apart from access to the site.
The council had received 72 objections to the application.