Updated: July 2017

Job Vacancies

We are currently recruiting at Graduate Planner and Assistant Planner levels. Interested parties should sent a CV to planning@woodshardwick.com or addressed to Woods Hardwick Planning, 15-17 Goldington Road, Bedford, MK40 3NH.

Central Bedfordshire Draft Local Plan

Following endorsement by the Council's Executive at a meeting held on 20th June, public consultation on the first draft of a new Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire is to take place from 4th July - 29th August 2017. The Local Plan is an important document for anyone with land interests in Central Bedfordshire. We have prepared an overview of the key aspects of the draft plan, which can be viewed here. For a more detailed discusssion about or advice on any particular aspect, please contact a member of the WHP team.

New Company Director

We are pleased to announce that Richard Murdock has been promoted to the role of Director at Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd. Richard has been with the company for five years and during that time has played a valuable role in the ongoing success of the company, enabling us to deliver a high quality service to our valued customers.

Richard has worked in the planning industry for over 16 years. Over that time he has gained extensive experience in both the public and private sector with expertise in all aspects of Development Management and Development Plans. This includes managing and co-ordinating the preparation and submission of major development proposals for both commercial and residential development, delivering successful outcomes by forging strong and effective working relationships with development consultants and Local Planning Authorities.

As a company we strive to deliver the highest standards of service to our customers and we look forward to continuing our working relationship with you in the future. If you have any upcoming opportunities that you would like to explore with us please do not hesitate to contact us so we can discuss how we can assist you.

Reserve Matters Consent, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade

Working with our Architectural and Civil Engineering colleagues, Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd successfully achieved Reserved Matters consent for a 19,500 sqm B Use industrial building on behalf of a leading electrical wholesale supplier at Stratton Business Park in Biggleswade. The site forms part of the Phase 5 & 6 Business Park extension and follows the granting of outline Planning Permission for B1/B2/B8 Employment Use with associated infrastructure and ancillary works for the wider 42ha extension to the business park.

Conservation Area Development, Clophill

Woods Hardwick Planning has enjoyed further success in securing planning permission on behalf of a small bespoke housebuilder. Working with our architectural colleagues, consent was granted for the development of a site in the Clophill Conservation Area to deliver a high quality scheme of six dwellings. The site was largely outside the settlement boundary but through careful design and negotiation with the Local Planning Authority, the approval of the Council’s Development Management Committee was obtained.

Residential Conversion, Bedford

Working alongside out architectural colleagues in Woods Hardwick Ltd, Woods Hardwick Planning has obtained planning consent for the conversion of a commercial building to residential apartments, successfully overcoming policy relating to the loss of an existing leisure use.

Construction underway on new auction house for W&H Peacock

Work has recently commenced on a new 25,000 square foot (footprint) building for W&H Peacock Auctioneers. The unit, which also includes an additional circa 9,000 square feet of first floor accommodation, is to be constructed on a 1.3 ha site at Wallis Way, Bedford. It will provide W&H Peacock, who are one of Bedford’s oldest businesses, with a new regional sized and purpose built auction house. Working with our architectural, engineering and surveying colleagues, WHP secured full planning permission for scheme on behalf of W&H Peacock in December 2015. Wood Hardwicks were retained by the client to undertake the detailed architectural and civil engineering design through to project completion.

Progress on the construction of this exciting new development can be followed through the site time-lapse camera here.

Work well under way on Business Park expansion

Considerable progress has been made on the core infrastructure at Phase 5 of Stratton Business, Biggleswade to enable its expansion. Working with our Civil Engineering colleagues, Woods Hardwick Planning secured detailed planning consent for the infrastructure works in 2016 and subsequently co-ordinated the clearance of all of the pre-commencement conditions. The infrastructure works will facilitate the delivery of serviced plots for future occupiers by the landowner and developer Central Bedfordshire Council Assets. See more photos here.

Major Residential Development, Potton

Woods Hardwick Planning secured Outline planning permission on behalf of Denison Investments for a residential development of up to 62 dwellings on land off Mill Lane, Potton. The application was submitted on the basis that the Local Authority did not have a 5 year housing land supply and although the site lies outside of the Settlement Envelope, Woods Hardwick Planning successfully negotiated the scheme with Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Officers which led to a recommendation for approval and a resolution to grant permission by Members of the Development Management Committee.

Major Residential Development, Blunham

Woods Hardwick Planning secured Outline planning permission on behalf of Larkswood Design for a residential development of up to 79 dwellings, including over 55’s accommodation and bungalows on Barford Road Blunham. The application was submitted on the basis that the Local Authority did not have a 5 year housing land supply and although the site lies outside of the Settlement Envelope, Woods Hardwick Planning successfully negotiated the scheme with Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Officers which led to a recommendation for approval and a resolution to grant permission by Members of the Development Management Committee.

Major Residential Development, Chadwell Heath, Barking & Dagenham

On behalf of NFC Homes, Woods Hardwick Planning coordinated the submission of a detailed planning application for 45 residential units comprising 3 no. three bedroom flats, 22 no. two bedroom flats and 20 no. one bedroom flats within two blocks three and four and five storeys in height together with parking, landscaping and ancillary works following demolition of the existing buildings on a site in Chadwell Heath in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The planning application was subsequently approved.

Major Residential Development, Stotfold

Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission on behalf of Landcrest Developments Ltd for a residential development of up to 15 residential dwellings at land east of Rook Tree Lane, Stotfold. The site lies outside of the Settlement Envelope and this was on the basis that the Local Authority did not have a 5 year housing land supply. It followed successful negotiations with Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Officers to overcome policy considerations and matters relating to the design of the scheme.

Appeal Success, Sharnbrook

Following the refusal of planning permission for the retrospective change of use of 105 High Street, Sharnbrook to B1(a) Offices, Woods Hardwick Planning were instructed by Brookfield Drinks Ltd to act on their behalf in submitting an appeal. Following the submission of the appeal and further representations, we were successful in overcoming three separate reasons for refusal with the Inspector allowing the appeal.

Phases 5 & 6 Employment Land, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade

Working with our Architectural and Civil Engineering colleagues, Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission for B1/B2/B8 Employment Use with associated infrastructure and ancillary works on land east of Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade known as Phases 5 and 6. Having already successfully promoted land known as Phase 4 to the south of Stratton Business Park in the Local Plan Review (2005), and secured the allocation of 15 hectares of B1, B2 & B8 employment land (Phase 5) to the east of the existing business park in the Site Allocations DPD (2011), Woods Hardwick Planning were engaged by Central Bedfordshire Council Assets and Denison Investments Ltd, the promoters of the Phase 6 land, to co-ordinate the preparation and submission of an outline planning application, for the c.42 hectare site. Woods Hardwick Planning is now coordinating the approval of details reserved by conditions.

New Access Road, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade

Working with our colleagues in Woods Hardwick Infrastructure, Woods Hardwick Planning obtained Planning Permission on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council Assets for the construction of a new access road on land between Pegasus Drive and Phase 4 of Stratton Business Park in Biggleswade. Construction of this road supports the continued development of the Stratton Business Park for B1, B2 and B8 employment use.

Major Residential Development, Gravenhurst

Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission on behalf of The RonCon Trust for a residential development of up to 24 residential dwellings at land rear of 7-37 Barton Road, Upper Gravenhurst. The site lies outside of the Settlement Envelope and this was on the basis that the Local Authority did not have a 5 year housing land supply. It followed successful negotiations with Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Officers to overcome policy considerations.

Employment Land at Thorn Turn, Houghton Regis

Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council Assets for B1/B2/B8 Employment Use on 13 hectares of land at Thorn Turn, Houghton Regis. Given that the site was situated within the South Bedfordshire Green Belt, Woods Hardwick Planning were required to produce a robust case that set out the ‘Very Special Circumstances’ to justify releasing the land from the Green Belt.

W & H Peacock Auction House, Bedford

Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission on behalf of W & H Peacock for an Auction House at Unit E, Wallis Way, Bedford. Woods Hardwick Planning were successful in demonstrating that Material Considerations justified the grant of planning permission for an auction house on a site allocated for B1, B2 & B8 Employment Use at Unit E, Wallis Way, Bedford for local employer, W & H Peacock. The consent will enable W & H Peacock to expand their premises and become a regional sized operator allowing the company to continue its long term connection with Bedford.

Eastern Relief Road, Arlesey

Woods Hardwick Planning successfully secured Outline Planning Permission on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council Assets for the construction of a section of relief road between the A507 and Arlesey High Street, the formation of a new roundabout junction on the A507 and a mini roundabout on Arlesey High Street at Chase Farm. The application site forms part of a wider allocation for a major mixed-use development (consisting of x dwellings etc) under Policy MA8 of the Site Allocations DPD along with further land at Chase Farm and also land on the west side of High Street.

Lawful Development Certificates Granted

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd was instructed to secure Lawful Development Certificates for residential use on two units located in the open countryside. Following a comprehensive submission and successful negotiations, we were successful in proving the case and Bedford Borough Council has now granted the Certificates.

Masterplan for Arlesey Adopted by Central Bedfordshire Council

A Masterplan for a major residential led mixed use development on circa 77 ha of land at Arlesey, Bedfordshire was adopted by Central Bedfordshire Council on 18 March 2014. Woods Hardwick Planning has co-ordinated the preparation of the Masterplan by the project team on behalf of our clients and its adoption is a major milestone for the development of the site. The next stage on this project will be the preparation of planning applications. You can view the Masterplan and find out more information about the site by visiting the consultation website www.arleseycross.com

Planning Occupancy Condition Removed

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd has been successful in securing the removal of a planning condition restricting the occupation of a property to an adjoining commercial premises. Following previous unsuccessful attempts to remove the decision at both application and appeal stages, WHP Ltd were instructed to submit a new application, which has now been approved by the Local Planning Authority under their scheme of delegation. This follows previous successes in removing planning occupancy conditions.

 

Major Residential Development, Elsenham

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd leading a team of consultants, including our Infrastructure and Architectural colleagues, has been successful in securing the grant of outline planning permission for 130 dwellings in Elsenham, Essex. Following previous success on this site in securing a draft allocation within the emerging local plan, an application was submitted and following the completion of a section 106 agreement, planning permission was issued in December 2013.

 

Outline planning permission secured for 410 dwellings in Ampthill

Acting for clients Connolly Homes, one of the joint promoters of land at Warren Farm, Ampthill, Woods Hardwick Planning has been part of the project team that has recently secured outline planning permission for up to 410 dwellings, together with open space, accesses and surface water retention basin.  WHP has a long record of success at this site having originally secured the release of the Connolly Homes part of the site, known then as land off Flitwick Road, from the Green Belt and safeguarded for future development in the Mid Bedfordshire Local Plan First Review.  We then subsequently successfully promoted it for allocation as housing land in the Central Bedfordshire Site Allocations DPD.

 

Change of Use Secured for Residential Barn Conversion

Woods Hardwick Planning has recently been successful in securing approval from Central Bedfordshire Council for change of use from office to residential dwelling in Harlington Road, Toddington. This follows successful negotiations with the Planning Officers to overcome policy and design considerations.

 

Buntingford – Appeal Success

Following the refusal of reserved matters consent for 26 dwellings, Woods Hardwick Planning were instructed by Matthew Homes Ltd to act on their behalf in submitting an appeal. Following the submission of the appeal and further representations, we were successful in overcoming three separate reasons for refusal with the Inspector allowing the appeal. This follows other recent successes at appeal.

 

Appeal Success - Another Age Restriction Removed at Appeal

Woods Hardwick Planning has once again been successful at appeal, securing the removal of a planning obligation placing an age restriction on the occupation of residential properties. Having refused an application to remove the restriction, Woods Hardwick Planning submitted a further application justifying the removal of the obligation in line with the development plan and national planning guidance. After the Committee refused consent again, an appeal was lodged. An Inspector subsequently allowed the appeal along with a full award of costs against the Council based on their unreasonable behaviour in refusing the application with no policy basis. This follows success back in 2010 on a similar issue.

 

Expansion of Local Business Secured

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd working with our Infrastructure colleagues has been successful in securing planning permission for Global Robots Ltd, a locally based company in Bedfordshire.  The project comprises the redevelopment and significant expansion of their existing site within the countryside.  The application was  unanimously supported by the Central Bedfordshire Council’s Planning Committee following successful negotiations with Officers at pre-application stage.

 

Resolution to grant in Kingsway Bedford

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd has recently been successful in helping to secure approval from Bedford Borough Council’s Planning Committee for three residential development schemes within the Kingsway Quarter of Bedford.   The schemes comprise a 14 flat scheme, a development of 36 flats and the redevelopment of the Melbourne House Site as a 90 flat landmark building.  These developments will significantly contribute towards the comprehensive regeneration of the southern gateway to Bedford Town Centre.

New use for former County Court

Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd recently secured planning permission for Geneva Investment Co Ltd to convert the former County Court building in Bedford to 12 flats with a re-vamp of the external appearance to give a more contemporary feel to the building.