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Barford + Co the St Neots Chartered Surveyors and Planning Consultants have successfully secured outline planning permission on appeal for the development of a care home on land at the Phoenix Business Park, Eaton Socon.

The site is an undeveloped area of land rear of the Premier Inn and within the Bedford Borough Council administrative area.  Planning permissions to develop the site have previously been granted by the Bedford Borough Council and in late 2010 a planning application was submitted on behalf of Brookdale Care to develop a care home on the site.  This was refused planning permission by the Borough Council at its Planning Committee meeting on the 14th February on the grounds that the site was regarded to be in the open countryside and in a poorly served location.  The proposal was therefore considered to be contrary to the Bedford Borough policies.

An appeal was lodged on behalf of Brookdale Care by Barford + Co and this has now been considered by a Government Inspector, who has granted planning permission.  The Inspector did not accept the Council’s objection the site is in the countryside.  In his view it is within the built up area with surrounding mixed uses and with its proximity to St Neots it is in a very accessible and sustainable location.

Martin Page of Barford + Co commented ‘The decision reinforces the need for proposals to be considered in their wider context, rather than by reference to administration boundaries and unfortunately on this occasion we feel Bedford Borough had a very blinkered view’.

Brookdale Care will now start preparing the detailed proposals and are hopeful the home will be open in early 2013.



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