Houghton Regis representatives of Town and Central Bedfordshire Councils met on Thursday evening for a regular Town Centre Management Committee Meeting (TCM).
Members discussed the possibility of transitioning the current limited scope of the TCM to a partnership committee that considered the whole town, and not just the town centre. It was pointed out that similar structures existed in Dunstable, Leighton Linslade, and Biggleswade. Members agreed to await further information.
The latest crime statistics were discussed and the drop in recorded crime of 22% overall was discussed. ASB in Bedford Square was discussed.
The Town Centre boundaries were discussed. The boundaries were the Co-op site, Bedford Square, and All Saints church. Members voted unanimously to add the new Morrisons superstore site, Roslyn House, The Dentist surgery, and properties on the north side of the High Street between Bedford Rd and Cemetery Road to the Town Centre. Consideration was given to adding Georgina Petrol Station with its convenience store, car wash, and MOT centre, and the current Morrisons store, within the Town Centre boundaries but the meeting declined to add them. By having the boundary defined, the Development Control can be directed. The Central Beds Council will rigorously apply sequential tests to planning proposals for retail, office, and leisure uses that are not within the town centre boundary.The new boundary and associated new strategy for developments will be available for public consultation later this year.
The Town Centre Managers Report was read:
No further statement was available from CBC about the Co-op supermarket.
A date for Morrisons opening was being awaited.
Santa's Grotto and a Craft Fair would be held on Saturday 8th December in Bedford Square.
A usage study had been asked for to determine if any car parking spaces at the rear of the Bedford Square Centre could be released.
The ownership of the footpath at the rear of Bedford Square to the side of the churchyard was still unresolved, but CBC are to advertise that they intend to take the land over in case someone can come forward showing it to be their lawful property. The Town Council are to pay about £300 for the advertising.
The TCM are to continue to advertise the Mini Market in Bedford Square and to look for new ways to increase the number of stalls at £25 per stall per week.
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