Monday, 28 July 2014

350 New Homes Plan For Houghton Park

Parkside -350 new homes - Full planning application this Autumn
Bellcross Homes are looking to develop land for residential use to the east of Houghton Park, Parkside, Houghton Regis. Up to 350 new homes, including affordable homes are envisaged.

This 350 would be in addition to the 5,150 new homes planned for other land to the east and north of Houghton Regis, under scheme HRN1.

Earlier this month the company applied to Central Bedfordshire Council for an Environmental Impact Assessment on the land. The assessment will identify issues around population, wealth, housing, education, community facilities, health services.

Access to the site would initially be via Houghton Park Road for the first 100 housing units.  Thereafter, access would be from new roads built in the HRN1 area closer to the M1.

Local town councillor for Parkside, Alan Winter said today, "We've always known that Bellcross owned this land and would one day want to develop it. But I don't understand how access can be provided via Houghton Park Road to any development on the land to the east. The road is too narrow, is constantly parked up by residents vehicles, and there is a dangerous sharp bend on the road. I am not in favour of development traffic using Houghton Hall Park Road to access this site. I am concerned that residents vehicles might be damaged by vehicles accessing the site."

I would also not be in favour of visitors to the site, once developed, accessing homes on this site via Houghton Park Road due to the narrowness of the road. I have safety concerns due to the sharp blind bend in the road.

The assessment will include traffic surveys at various junctions in Parkside.

A draft masterplan to guide the development is being developed for the site. A full planning application is expected this Autumn, 2014.

The schedule for the EIA Scoping Report can be read here .

Comments can be made here:  and search for application CB/14/02824/SCO

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Pool - Swimming Times

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Swimming Pool is open, but has limited availability until September.

All sessions will have restricted numbers and will be managed on a band system. There will be limited availability for these two months due to ongoing maintenance work. The new facilities will be open in September. For Bank holiday opening times, please contact reception.

Casual Swimming
6.30am - 7.30am (Monday to Friday)
8am - 9am (Daily)
9.30am - 10.30am (Monday and Friday Only) 
12.30 - 13.30 (Daily)
15.30 - 16.30 (Monday to Friday)
17.00 - 18.00  (Daily)
18.30 - 19.30 (Monday to Friday)
8pm - 9pm (Monday & Thursday)

Aqua Fun (floats available)
11am - 12 (Monday to Friday)
2pm - 3pm (every day)
15.30 - 16.30 Saturday, Sunday

Adult Relax and Swim
8pm - 9pm (Tuesday & Friday)

Parent and Child
9.30am - 10.30am Wednesdays
11am - 12 Saturday, Sunday

50+
9.30am - 10.30am Tuesday and Thursday

Enquiries can be sent to enquiries.houghton@stevenage-leisure.co.uk or call 01582 866141

Friday, 25 July 2014

Free Phone App for Pregnant Mums-To-Be

Email from Best Beginnings:

I am researching for a charity called Best Beginnings, who are working to give every baby in the UK the healthiest start in life. We do a great deal of educational work aiming to close the health gap between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups, and also different cultures. We work closely with professionals in the field, to make sure our advice is up-to-date and accurate. To read more about us please look at the web site: http://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk

As a way to reach a younger audience we are developing a free, downloadable phone app called Baby Buddy. It will be aimed at new mums (we will do a 'dad' version later) and covers pregnancy and the first six months after birth. One of the many things the app will deliver is access to a library of film 'snippets' or mini tutorials, giving hints and tips for simple ways to improve mother and baby health. In particular we are researching EXERCISE (exercise for mums / movement for baby). So we are looking for a mother and baby class that will let us film, that can demonstrate accessible, easy ways that mums can improve their own health and that of the baby.

Things like: Mother and baby yoga, baby massage, mother and baby fitness.

What we want:

- Pregnant women and those in the first 6 months of motherhood

- Younger mums, and those from a mixed economic / cultural background (reflecting the audience we hope reach)

- A really lively, knowledgeable teacher

- A class that has a laugh, and has a good rapport

Please get in touch if there are any leads you can give me, or you can suggest a group that might be appropriate, or just put us in touch with anyone who might like to be involved. For your information we usually work with small, all-female camera crews.

Attached is more info about the Baby Buddy App, and there is also stuff on the web site: http://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/phone-apps

Kindest regards

Zan Barberton


07980 301541

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Harvest Home Car Park To Go To Pay And Display

Starting early August the car park at Harvest Home, Hillborough Crescent, is to become Pay & Display with a fee starting at 40p. Revenues from the venture will be shared between the landlord and community projects, according to the landlord. Parking will be free for  pub customers.

A statement from the Harvest Home reads, "Firstly im sorry this has taken so long to sort out. We have been working closely with the local council (big thanks to Jan Cooper - Community Services Officer to Houghton Regis Town Council) for all her hard work and advice. Also thanks to local businesses for their support in trying to find a solution that works for us all. The big issues are the car park belongs to the Harvest Home but our customers and staff were finding it hard to park in our car park, we have been working with a company called CPS who have managed to clear the car park so that our customers and staff can park. During this time we have been looking at ways to let customers of the shops also use the car park. "

The statement continues "Starting early August the car park will be a Pay & Display with a fee starting at 40p. ok, I will not hide the fact that I get a % of the revenue from the car park, however I'm going to set aside a percentage of this money for community projects.  Customers of the Harvest Home -  yes you will continue to be able to PARK FOR FREE."

The car park is owned by Central Bedfordshire Council, but leased to a local brewery, who in turn charge fees to the Harvest Home. To help recuperate those fees, Ray, the landlord, tried to involve local shops whose customers were using the car park for minutes at a time. Other issues like shop workers parking all day, others parking and then taking a bus to go on holiday, and even using the car park to change an engine in fuelled the landlords annoyance. Tickets for fines of up to £70 a day are still being issued to non-customer vehicles, operated by parking company CPS. Drivers who do not park in the car park often risk other penalties by parking on double yellow lines.