Campaigners against proposals to build replacement college buildings, new Primary School blocks, an 88-bed care home, a high dependency unit, and 30 new houses on the current Barnfield College site have won an extension to the deadline for objections to the scheme.
Residents had been critical of Peter Birkett’s Barnfield Federation for submitting plans for such a huge development just as the Summer Holidays started – when a lot of people would be away, and it would be difficult for other local schools to make their views known.
Following formal representations from Barnfield Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Pantling, Luton Council has agreed to extend the deadline for objections or comments to the end of August. With dozens of objections being received daily, and resident petitions still being collected, the Lib Dems say this will make a big difference in allowing residents their say.
Barnfield and Bushmead Councillor, Martin Pantling said:
“Given the cynical timing of this development application, I’m delighted the Council have extended the objections deadline to ensure fair play by giving residents a proper opportunity to respond. There’s been a lot of talk from Barnfield about wanting to work with their neighbours, but their actions seem to say otherwise.”
“In over nine years as a Barnfield councillor I cannot think of any other application that has caused this level of concern across the whole area. Claims from the College that traffic will not increase from such a variety of new build don’t stand up to any form of examination, the mix of uses proposed on the site with dependency units sitting next to primary school facilities give cause for huge concern, and the loss of amenity by closing off all of the green land would have very significant impacts. The Council’s Parks department have acknowledged that the whole area is lacking in amenity space.”
“Any application that goes forward will ultimately have to be determined on a balanced view of the outline scheme. But I hope Barnfield will see fit to withdraw the current plans and have a proper conversation with local residents rather than trying to inflict this damage on the whole area. The only possible reason to not do that would be if they had been given a nod and a wink that the scheme should go through based purely and simply on the few houses provided. Residents will be praying that that this isn’t the case.”