The site of a proposed egress road joining Harcourt to Cranfield's High Street

Two Cranfield, residents voiced their traffic concerns if a planning appeal overturned planning refusal for a new estate in the Bedfordshire village.

Harcourt Resident, Caroline Potter, told the Land North of Braeburn Way Planning Appeal yesterday (9 June 2021) that the wait times out of Flitt Leys Close were longer than those claimed by the Appellant.

She said that morning it took her over three minutes to turn onto Cranfield’s High Street. Adding that the parking on Flitt Leys is an issue. She said:

“There has been instances [in Flitt Leys Close] when the rubbish lorry cannot pass due to inconsiderate parking.”

Ms Potter also explained that due to new parking restrictions on Red Lion Close, parents are now stopping on the High Street to drop off their children attending Holywell School.

She said that this, combined with the nearby zebra crossing, would add to delays for those coming out of the egress road (if it was approved) backing to the new estate and down Braeburn Way during the school peak times.

Mr Christopher Young QC, the advocate for the Appellant, said that independent traffic data was collected in 2019. He said:

“[The] travel data was collected in 2019 so pre-pandemic. It was collected in November, which is a neutral month for the purposes of collecting this data. It was obtained on a suitable day.

“Residents often exaggerate the amount of time [for delays]. So that’s why we have traffic data that is taken independently.”

Another Harcourt resident, Lee Rumble, shared that on his side of the cul-de-sac the pathways from the homes go onto the road:

“There is no path on our side, I go directly onto the road. So it’s not like other houses that are on main roads.”

Mr Rumble also queried the road accident reports. He said that he had an email from the headmaster of the school on Braeburn Way, which he said he submitted to the Inspectorate:

“Despite the speed limit and slow moving traffic outside the school there have been multiple near misses which children running out onto the road.

“There was a near fatal accident just a few months ago outside the school on Braeburn Way. I’d like to ask how old the accident data is because that was late 2020/early 21.”

Mr Young said:

“In terms of the footway we have agreed with the authority, on a without prejudice basis, to provide a pathway on Harcourt.”

Mr Rumble said:

“So you are going to take the land from the front of our house and turn it into a footway, is that what you are saying?”

Mr Young said:

“No, it will be taken within the highway land rather than your land.”

Mr Rumble said:

“I did not say my land, I said the land in front of my house. This would not be the preferred option for the residents in Harcourt.

“Can you answer the question regarding the age of the data that you have for the crashes, near misses or accidents?”

Mr Young:

“It’s up to the middle of 2020. That’s the latest date for the data that Bedfordshire will allow us to use because this information needs to be verified.”

The Appellant is appealing against Central Bedfordshire Council’s refusal by delegated decision for the building of up to 180 dwellings and open spaces on land to the north of Braeburn Way.

The appeal started on 8 June 2021 and is expected to last up to nine days. It can be viewed via a livestream on YouTube (ref 3267704 – Central Bedfordshire).