CBC’s Draft Local Plan Settlement Capacity Study for Maulden

Central Bedfordshire Council: Initial Capacity Study for Maulden.

The initial settlement capacity study in Central Bedfordshire councils draft local plan can be found on Central Bedfordshire Councils website at the following address

www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplan

A copy of the study for Maulden taken from the website can be found below.

MAULDEN

Maulden is a small village with a residential population of 3,130 people in around 1,290 dwellings (161). The village is located 1.5 miles to the east of Ampthill and 3 miles to the north-east of Flitwick, and is located on a minor road from Ampthill to Clophill. The settlement is situated on the Greensand Ridge and is classed as a residential village and serves larger settlements in commuting distance.

CONTEXT & ASSETS

Planning: The Parish boundary is identified by Central Bedfordshire Council (162) and Maulden does have a Neighbourhood Planning Area, however the plan is yet to be developed. Maulden is bordered by Green Belt land to the west of the village which prevents coalescence with Ampthill to the west.

People, Community Facilities and Services: The geo-demographic profile (163) of Maulden identifies the Parish as consisting of elderly people reliant on state support”, “owner occupiers in older-style housing in ex-industrial areas” and “successful professionals living in suburban or semi-rural homes”. ONS data (164) for Maulden reveals the median age of residents to be 43, and that the village has more residents under 16 than over 65.

Maulden has a small collection of services and facilities which include a community centre, a pre-school/nursery, a lower school, a convenience store, three food serving pubs, outdoor recreational facilities and a children’s play area. The settlement does not have secondary education facilities, restaurants/takeaways, health facilities or entertainment venues. Notable towns with superstores close (165) to the Maulden area include Ampthill (approx. 1 mile), Flitwick (approx. 3 mile) and Shefford (approx. 7 miles). Maulden has a number of active clubs and groups.

Leisure Strategy sites (166) are present in and around the village, including a recreation ground and amenity space. The settlement has a large surplus of informal large recreation areas and a small surplus of formal large recreation areas and allotments. However, there is a deficit of small amenity spaces, play areas for children and facilities for young people (167)

Education: Redborne Upper School and Community College is close to capacity; however, any spare existing capacity is likely to be used to accommodate growth already showing in the pupil forecast. The school site has the capacity for expansion (168). Maulden Lower School is at capacity, however, any spare existing capacity is likely to be used to accommodate growth already showing in the pupil forecast. The school site has the site capacity for expansion. Alameda Middle School has some existing capacity, although pupil forecasts predict an increase and the school cannot accommodate expansion

Employment: The village does not contain a major employment area (169). Employment data (170) for the area shows that 14.7% of residents work part time, 38.8% of residents work full time and 14.7% are retired. Full time employment figures for the village are lower than the Central Bedfordshire averages, whereas the retired figures are higher. The main industries of employment in the village are wholesale & retail, construction and education. 26% of residents work within the ward and 18% work elsewhere within Central Bedfordshire. The most commuted to location outside of Central Bedfordshire by ward residents is Bedford (171).

Transport and Movement: Maulden does not have access to the primary road network, but is connected to Flitwick via Flitwick Road to the south and Clophill via Clophill Road to the east. The village does not have a railway station, and the nearest station for the village is Flitwick, 3 miles to the south-west. Bus Stops are also present within the village. Ampthill Road through Maulden is often seen as an alternative to the congested A507 for some motorists travelling between Clophill and Ampthill. This has prompted concerns to be aired by local residents and the Police as to the safety implications of speeding traffic within the village, and a priority for local action (172)

Bus: Whilst there are a large number of different services, they are infrequent, do not operate on Sundays or outside of peak periods, and are heavily reliant on being subsidised by Central Bedfordshire Council (173)

Other Infrastructure:

Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment: Maulden is located in the Clophill Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) catchment area. The other settlements located in this catchment area are Clophill and Silsoe. The settlements in this WwTW catchment have a combined capacity of 2442 dwellings (1774)

The National Grid is to be investigated when other technical studies are completed.

Landscape & Land Quality:

Landscape Character Type (LCT): Maulden is located partly within the Mid Greensand Ridge LCT, a large scale ridge with a gently undulating ridge top. The village extends south to the Flit Greensand Valley, with it’s small pockets of wetland vegetation, market gardening and scattered farmsteads. The area has a strong underlying heathland character and a high ecological value due to the number of nationally important sites present. The LCT also has extensive areas of Deciduous Woodland, Mixed Woodland and Coniferous Plantations, and primary transport routes, cross the area (175)

Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land: The village of Maulden is located within Grade 3 agricultural land (sub grade 3a or 3b unknown) which extends north, east and west of the village. To the south of the town the land is Grade 2, and further north, beyond the band of Grade 3, is additional Grade 2 land. Further to the south-east of the village is an area of Grade 1 land.

Historic Environment: Maulden has a small collection of Listed Buildings which are mostly situated around the former village green in the east of the village. A small number of individual Listed Buildings are located in the south of Maulden. Maulden’s Conservation Area is situated in the east of the village around the former village green. The area is characterised by the green space, dramatic views of countryside to the south and the separation of the church from the village gives significance to the spaces between them. Earlier houses in the Conservation Area have timber frames and thatched roofs, whereas red brick has been used for infilling (176). Bolebec Farm moated enclosure is to the north of the village, and is a Scheduled Monument. The entire eastern side and middle of the village is in an Archaeological Notification Area.

Biodiversity: Maulden Church Meadow is a SSSI, County Wildlife Site (CWS) and Local Nature Reserve is east of the village, as is the much larger Maulden Wood and Pennyfathers Hills SSSI, which also contains the Maulden Woods & Heaths CWS. Duck End Marshly Grassland CWS is to the south of the village and along the southern border of the settlement boundary is the Flit Valley CWS. Lowland Dry Acid Grassland exists to the east, as does Lowland Meadows. The settlement is also located within the Greensand Ridge Nature Improvement Area. The Green Infrastructure Network borders the settlement to the north and south and is part of GI corridor 6 (177). The Biodiversity Network surrounds the settlement to the north, east and west.

Flood Risk: Flood Zones 2 and 3 border the town to the south, however the flood zones are not directly bordering the village, but are around 1.5km south of Maulden (178).

SENSITIVITY & DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS

The settlement contains sensitive environmental receptors including best and most versatile agricultural land, SSSIs, County Wildlife Sites and Green Belt land. The settlement also contains designated heritage assets in the form of Listed Buildings, a Scheduled Monument and a Conservation Area. The sensitivity of the settlement community and environment is considered to be MEDIUM-HIGH.

CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

Communities

1. Education: There is room for limited growth and also expansion at Redborne Upper School and Community College as well as Maulden Lower School indicating a medium to high capacity.

2. Healthcare: Lack of healthcare facilities indicating a low capacity.

3. Retail/Groceries/Newsagent/Post Office: Convenience store and post office present indicating a medium to low capacity.

4. Leisure/Cultural: Outdoor recreational facilities and Children’s Play areas present indicating a medium capacity. Development could contribute to addressing deficits in the provision of small amenity spaces, play areas for children and facilities for young people.

5. Green Belt: The west of the settlement is constrained by designated Green Belt land.

Transport & Movement

6. Rail links available in the settlement of Flitwick around 3 miles away, and the settlement is not well-served by bus services which are infrequent and of varying quality, indicating a low capacity. There is no direct access to the strategic road network and the settlement suffers from through-traffic.

Environment

7. Development in the north-east has the potential to affect nationally designated biodiversity (SSSIs). Any development in the north, east and west of the settlement is constrained by the Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Networks.

8. Any development around the settlement is likely to result in the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land.

9. Development in the far south of the settlement is constrained by flood risk areas, and locally designated biodiversity.

10. Development in the east of the settlement may affect designated heritage settings.

11. Development to south of Maulden would be visually highly intrusive, mean loss of attractive and good quality soils.

12. Additional infill results in loss of characteristic open spaces which gives Maulden character and provide views to Maulden Woods or the panoramic views to south.

MAULDEN SUMMARY

Capacity: Medium (without Green Belt release: Medium)

Development in the north-east of the settlement may require mitigation measures to avoid negative effects on biodiversity but could also lead to environmental improvements through increased connectivity between Priority Habitats and existing green spaces. Though there are flood risk areas to the south of the settlement these could be avoided through the appropriate siting of development.

Development in the west of the settlement would be subject to the lifting of Green Belt restrictions.

Overall, the settlement offers opportunities to encourage sustainable development, particularly in the south of the settlement, which is well connected to the existing urban area, and could deliver development gains and improve service and facility provisions in the settlement. Development could also deliver a range of housing for the local community, and there may be potential for environmental improvements.

References
161 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
162 Central Bedfordshire Council Call for Sites Settlement Maps
163 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
164 ONS (2011) Neighbourhood Statistics- Maulden Lower Layer Super Output Area (008D)
165 Google Maps (2016)
166 Central Bedfordshire Council Leisure Strategy GIS Map Data
167 Central Bedfordshire Council Leisure Strategy Parish Profile
168 Central Bedfordshire Council Education Capacity Information (2016)
169 Employment and Economic Study (2012) Stage 1 Report [existing employment sites]
170 ONS (2011) Neighbourhood Statistics- Maulden Lower Layer Super Output Area (008D)
171 Central Bedfordshire Council (2015) Ampthill Ward Profile
172 Central Bedfordshire Council (2012) Ampthill & Flitwick Local Area Transport Plan 173 Ibid. 174 JBA Consulting (2016) Central Bedfordshire Water Cycle Study
175 Central Bedfordshire Council Landscape Character Assessment (2015) Type 6
176 Maulden Village Conservation Area (2008) [Online] http://www.mauldenvillage.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2014/02/Maulden-Conservation-Area.pdf
177 http://bedfordshirenaturally.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/GI-plan-leaflet.pdf
178 Environment Agency (2016) Flood Map for Planning

Author: Roger Ball

Maulden resident, Parish Councillor and Maulden Neighbourhood Plan participant

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