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POTTON HOUSING LAND SOLD TO KIER LIVING

Residential land located on the east side of Biggleswade Road, Potton is to be developed by locally based national housebuilder Kier Living.  The sale was finalised following the promotion and marketing of the site by Barford + Co, the St Neots based land and property consultants.

The site which extends to 7.4 ha (18 acres), was first promoted for development by Barford + Co on behalf of the landowners in 2009. As a result of the representations made, the allocation was confirmed in theCentral Bedfordshire Site Allocations Local Plan which was adopted in April 2011. A mixed-use development with a minimum of 150 houses, 1 ha (2.5 acres) of B1 employment land, a community hall and open space was identified as being appropriate. The site allocation was then followed by the preparation of a Development Brief involving public consultation and the submission of an outline application which was approved in July 2014.

Following the grant of planning permission, the land was marketed by Barford + Co’s agency team and the sale of the residential area, open space and site for the community hall to Kier was concluded. The land which is earmarked for commercial use has been retained for later development.

Martin Page, Director at Barford + Co who oversaw the successful planning exercise commented “This application involved the resolution of a range of complex technical, ecological and planning issues that had to be addressed, but the outcome is a scheme which will successfully integrate with the town framework, delivering a range of new houses including affordable properties, local employment and new facilities”.   

Barford + Co highlighted that there had been a range of planning and technical issues which needed detailed attention prior to the completion of the sale to Kier. The original planning permission dealt with matters such as highway and traffic matters, flood risk, and an archaeological evaluation. One of the most significant matters which required attention however were a range of ecological issues, including in particular the need to close a badger sett at the point of access to the development and relocate numerous lizards.

“Both Barford + Co and Kier Living attach the utmost importance to making sure that ecological and wildlife matters are fully and properly dealt with prior to the commencement of the development of this site” commented Martin Page. “Whilst this caused a delay in the completion of the sale, all relevant authorities are now fully satisfied with the solutions measures proposed by Kier”.

Kier Living has already secured detailed approval for a first phase of development and an application is currently being worked up for two further phases, achieving a total 151 houses. The site access works are now underway.

Commenting on behalf of Kier Living, Land Director Dan Browne stated “We hope to have the first properties completed available for sale by Spring 2017 and having just completed our Millbrook Gardens scheme at Gamlingay and Laburnham Lodge at Sandy, both of which have proved to be very popular with purchasers, we will be offering high quality homes in the local area ranging from two bedroom to five bedroomed units”.

Kier have not at this stage identified a name for its new development, but anticipates that more information will be released in the early summer.

Barford + Co Director of Agency, Phil Halmshaw said “We are pleased to have been able to conclude the sale of this site to Kier Living. It is particularly appropriate that a company which is based locally was successful in competition against a range of other national housebuilders who were also very interested in buying the site”.

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