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Showing posts from November, 2012

Dog and Duck - Planning Matters

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The Dog and Duck former public house in Parkside Drive could soon be turned into a flat complex with a ground floor public house extension. Outline planning permission was granted recently to create a car park on the northern side of the pub, and build up to six flats on the present car park. The application number is CB/12/02756/OUT   And last week permission was granted at the premises for "Ground floor extension to a public house, first floor extension and internal alterations to first floor dwelling to create three dwellings" under application  CB/12/02356  . Other Planning Applications: CB/12/04046/FULL Location: Mobile Home At, Thorn Green Farm, Thorngreen Farm Road, Houghton Regis Proposal: Removal of a mobile home, demolition of a barn and erection of a Granny Annex (Resubmission of CB/12/01991) Comment: Granny Annex, or is it a bunglaow? CB/12/04006/ADV Location: Bierrum House, 105-111 High Street, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BJ Proposal: A

NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR HOUGHTON REGIS

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Field north of Tithe Farm. Photo: A D Winter 2012 Councillors in Houghton Regis last night were given a progress report by the Houghton Regis North (HRN1) Development Team. The meeting was a follow up to the public consultations that took place in the summer. A broad brush was painted over the plans, with presenters explaining that there were over 6,000 documents involved and initial planning applications to come before the year is out.  The scheme involves Lands Improvement and AXA in a £45m contribution towards the A5-M1 Link; the building of 3 new primary schools; warehouse, offices, workshops, a hotel, healthcare facilities, community halls, changing pavilions, places of worship, retail premises including a new supermarket and local shops, 78 hectares (equivalent to 117 International football pitches) for green infrastructure , 2550 building jobs, 2,500 other jobs. The timetable is expected to be:  Q4 2012 submit plans Q2 2013 reserve planning matters Q4 2013 Planning

Drug Haul 2 yrs Prison Sentence

http://www.cps.gov.uk/thames_chiltern/cps_thames_and_chiltern_news/man_jailed_for_having_cannabis_factory_at_his_flat___houghton_regis/ full story of Leaf Rd Cannabis factory haul.

Rail Interchange Could Bring 2,000 Jobs

Are people in Houghton Regis bothered about what happens to land in the Green Belt in neighbouring Sundon? Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are dead set against the prospect of a 52 hectacre freight interchange at Sundon. On the other hand, those in favour of the rail freight interchange are claiming that up to 2,000 much needed jobs could be provided on site, including manual and skilled IT workers. The land is next to Sundon Quarry, has the M1 on its western flank, and would be close to the to-be-built Junction 11a of the motorway.  CPRE argue that use of the land would be a major loss of Green Belt land, and that helps to buffer communities and stop urban sprawl. A planning application is probable next year, the scheme could be approved by 2014, and could be built by 2021. http://www.cprebeds.plus.com/content/cpre_matters.htm

Get Help To Combat Domestic Violence

Many myths surround domestic abuse and this contributes to many people suffering the crime in silence. Below we put a few of these myths straight! Myth: Domestic abuse is caused by alcohol / drugs / stress / mental illness Blaming drink / drugs / stress / mental illness or drugs is an excuse, a way of denying responsibility. The above issues may be the trigger for a particular attack, but they are not the underlying cause, which is power and control. For more information go to the Women’s Aid website. Myth: You cannot rape you wife/partner A person should always have the right to say no to sex, regardless of whether they have previously had consensual sex with the person or not. Forced intercourse within marriage or a relationship is still rape. For more information go to the Rape Crisis website .  Myth: Domestic abuse only happens to women Domestic violence is not a gender-specific reality. Women are capable of hitting, beating, abusing and killing their male partners.

Warning - Check for Legal Papers When Buying a Puppy

Don't get caught out - make sure your puppy has a proper Pet Passport! A lady from Dunstable who bought a £700 puppy advertised on the Internet has been left with a large quarantine bill after purchasing a puppy with a fake Pet Passport. The puppy trader said that Reggie had been imported from Belarus, and the Pet Passport would be sent to her at a later date but the Pet Passport never arrived. Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards have since traced the passport and found it to be a fake. Reggie had to be quarantined for 5 weeks to get his rabies vaccination , at a cost of just under £1,000 . Tracey said: “This has been a very upsetting situation for my family. My four young children were especially upset to see their new pet taken away and it is also a lot of money to try and find, especially at this time of year with Christmas just round the corner. We are now looking to retrieve this money back from the trader.” Under strict import laws which aim to preve

Apology: Update on Road Works in Houghton Regis

Central Bedfordshire Council  PR 1302    20/11/2012    [For Immediate Release] Update on road works in Houghton Regis Central Bedfordshire Council’s investment in the roads of Houghton Regis is nearing the end of phase one, with main works stopping until the New Year. The short-term works, designed to improvement traffic flow, will bring about long-term improvements to an area that often becomes congested. The improvement works have included introducing a roundabout at the junction of Bedford Road and High Street, where there previously were traffic signals and improving kerbs, footpaths, draining and lighting. Cllr Brian Spurr , Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services said: “Road works can be disruptive, but we are investing in Houghton Regis for long-term improvements. The works are designed to drastically improve travel in the area, but we do understand that the disruption is frustrating and that there have been initial problems due to traffic management syst

Reaction to Houghton Regis High Street Works

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More comments made last night about High Street works on our Facebook Page.  Comments have been anonymised as the writers would be able to Edit or Delete their comments on Facebook, but cannot do that on this blog page. Houghton Regis News Desk:  Morrisons new store in Houghton Regis has now been open since Monday. Some comments have been made about crossing the roads. The current arrangement is still only temporary, and as these plans show, two further crossing have yet to be installed (circled orange). Highways have given assurances that they will be looking to address widespread public concerns around positioning of the crossings. Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 19:19 FBUSER1 Seriously! What idiot thought this up? Morrisons is great and has improved local shopping but the road layout is ridiculous. There's already one crossing too close to the roundabout and now they want to put in 2 more. There's already been someone hit by a car so what's it going to take ti

One Thousand Likes on Facebook!

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Highways Look to Improve Cycle Routes

Bedfordshire Highways are working on finalising a plan to improve a cycling route between High Street, Houghton Regis, and All Saints Academy.  The scheme is likely to include:  widening the shared footway and cycleway on the western (or northern) side of Houghton Road from the existing pelican crossing near the school entrance, to a point to tie in with the 20mph zone on the High Street.  Tree foilage will need to be cut back, bus shelters may need repositioning, the crossing may be converted to a Toucan crossing. A provisional start date for the work is February 2013.

SCHOOL CHOIR COMPETITION

The Town Mayor's School Choir Competition 2012 was held for the 11th time today at All Saints' Church, Houghton Regis.  Children representing Tithe Farm Primary School, Thomas Whitehead  Primary   School, Houghton Regis Lower School, and Thornhill  Primary  School each sang two songs in front of a packed-out church. After many long minutes deliberating (and long queues to the toilets!), Houghton Regis Lower School were declared the eventual winners by Houghton Regis Mayor, Cllr David Jones. Publicity for the event was kept low-key to allow parents the opportunity to be in church to see their children perform. The winners are invited to perform at the Mayor's Carol Service on December 1st from 4pm.

Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner Voting Result

PCC ELECTIONS: Bedfordshire Turnout 17.75%. Winner Olly Martins. After 2nd round:  Olly Martins 35958, Jas Parmar 32100. 1st round voting left Olly Martins ahead for Labour and Co-operative Party, with the Conservative and Unionist Party candidate, Jas Parmar, fairly close behind. This meant that the second preference votes were counted. FINAL RESULT - Olly Martins Lab 34% Jas Parmar         Con 31.93 % 1st round voting: Olly Martins 27947 votes; Jas Parmar 26226 votes; : Linda Jack, Liberal Democrat (11,205); Kevin Carroll, The British Freedom Party (8,675) and Mezanur Rashid, Independent (8,076). None of the candidates will lose their £5,000 deposit as they have all achieved more than 5% of the vote. Linda Jack tweeted, "Feeling angry at the affront 2 democracy these elections r. How can ppl decide with so much dependent on being on line?" Sally Chidzoy (BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, tweeted, "Beds Lib Dem PCC candidate Linda Jack jokes grand

Mobile Phone Robber - Nabbed & Guilty

Mobile Phone Robber: Mark Crawford from Eldon Road, Luton has been found guilty of three armed robberies in Houghton Regis. He had disguised himself with a bandana and sunglasses as he stole mobile phones and an iPod whilst armed with a knife and an imitation firearm. His youngest victim was 14 years of age. The offences happened in Parkside Drive on April 2nd, Sandringham Drive on April 28th and again in Parkside Drive on April 30th. He will return to Luton Crown Court to be sentenced on December 7th. Local Liberal Democrat Councillor, Alan Winter, "I am so pleased that this case has been solved. This has been a big worry to our residents on Parkside estate, especially. It shows that detectives work hard to solve crime, and do get results. People should still not rest easy, however. Keep you phones hidden away, don't be alone if you can help it, and use http://www.immobilise.com/ to register your phone so that you can be reunited with it should you lose it and it be found

Boost to Local Charities from Houghton Regis Town Council

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Houghton Regis Town Council's Grants Sub Committee last night agreed grants to the following Key Partners. SORTED - £3000 Dunstable and District Citizen's Advice Bureau - £2200 Voluntary and Community Action - £2500 South Beds Dial A Ride - £2200 Keech Hospice Care - £3740 The Council has power to award grants. The awards are made annually after the applicants are approved for Key Partner Status, for a period of 4 years. The Key Partner status gives an organisation a fair degree of certainty that in each of the four years an award will be made, and assists the Council to budget. The contribution made above is just a small help towards the total cost of running each service. Chair of the committee Cllr Alan Winter said, "We hope this boost will continue to inspire others to also support these worthy charities. People in Houghton Regis are frequently very charitable, and there is nothing more worthy than helping those who are less fortunate than ourselve

Best Sustainability Design For Houghton Regis Estate?

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Central Bedfordshire Building Control Team are waiting with bated breath tonight, because tomorrow, Tuesday, 13 November, they will find out if buildings in Central Bedfordshire will beat the likes of the Velodrome to a building excellence award. A scheme of 179 mixed tenure dwellings at Sandringham Drive in Houghton Regis is up against the Velodrome for Best Sustainability Design.  Sandringham Estate, Houghton Regis                    photo: Alan D Winter, 2010 Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Services) at the council, said: “What a David and Goliath story this is! We’re absolutely delighted that the quality of our local builders, architects and developers is being recognised up there with the likes of the Olympic Park buildings. We’ll be rooting for them on the night but even if we don’t win, the prestige of being a finalist alongside buildings of this calibre will console us!” 

We Shall Remember

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It was standing room only at All Saints' Parish Church, Houghton Regis, for today's Remembrance Day Service. Afterwards, uniformed groups paraded to the Memorial Stone at the Village Green, followed   by the Mayor, Councillor David Jones, and Mrs Jones, and members of the public,  for the Act of   Remembrance Mike Corrigan from the Houghton Regis Branch of the British Legion said it was a sad day for the Legion. Due to age of committee members and no recruitment, today was the last day of the branch. Mike said it was with a heavy heart that he made this announcement, and hoped that, in time, the branch could be revived. If anyone is interested in finding out more, they could contact Mike Corrigan on 01582 517920.

Time Limited Fixed Term Tenancies

Have your say on the future of social housing in Central Bedfordshire The notion that a house is your house for life when you rent social housing is being challenged by a proposed new strategy from Central Bedfordshire Council.  The Council are saying that from April 2013, new residents will be offered  a five year   limited fixed term tenancy . The proposed changes will not affect current tenants. Tenancies will only be extended if a tenant was still in need of the accommodation. The hope is that people on a waiting list, unable to get the home they desperately need, will get a better chance.  The strategy is part of Government plans to radically reform the social housing system. Under the new system, the council and social landlords will get more flexibility to make the best use of housing stock and focus provision on those who are most in need. At the end of the fixed term, tenants will be supported by the council to consider remaining in their home, renting in the pri

Remembrance Day Details

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 The Service of Remembrance at All Saints' on Sunday will be taking place from 10am. Seats should be taken by 9.45am. The Service and Act of Remembrance will be officiated by Father Brian Wheelhouse of All Saints’ and led by the Houghton Regis Branch of the Royal British Legion. An Act of Remembrance will take place at 11am immediately after the service at All Saints' at the Memorial Stone on the Village Green. Light refreshments will be served afterwards at The Memorial Hall in Drury Lane (opp. Village Green).  HOUGHTON REGIS PARISH CHURCH - Roll of Honour

Fresh Plan to Care More

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Central Bedfordshire Executive councillors have endorsed a fresh plan to raise standards of care and increase the choice for its customers. New Quality Marks are coming in to drive up standards in residential homes providing care to council-funded customers. Homes will be rated either excellent, good, adequate or poor.  Those homes rated excellent will receive the highest fee whereas poorly rated homes will not be considered for new placements. Council funded customers will be able to chose from available care homes and will be able to decide where they live based on the quality rating of the home and their preferred location. The first accreditation and incentive scheme, the Dementia Quality Mark, is in the final stages of development and will be rolled out in early 2013. A further scheme for other homes will follow. Cllr Carole Hegley , Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing says, "We look forward in the future to delivering and influencing greater choice and

Houghton Regis Wallpaper Downloads Available

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These new wallpapers for your pc are available for download: Download 1(2.1MB - 1632 x 1224)               Download 2 (2.1MB - 1632 x 1224)     Taken in Bloomsbury Gardens, Houghton Regis 8 Nov 2012, A. D. Winter

Road Works Dunstable & Houghton Regis

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Footpath and road resurfacing work in Dalling Drive and Farm Close. Just two examples of roads in Houghton Regis and Dunstable currently being maintained by Bedfordshire Highways. The difficult task faced by CBC Councillors has been to prioritise one road over another, given that funding was available for only half the demanded schemes. Roads not being done, and in need of doing, will need to be reconsidered in the next round of funding allocations. Here's a list of the current scheme works: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvKt375B3eTNdG1oMkhXMWE3bEdSTU9uRUt1dEJUdUE If you think your road should be a priority the best course of action would be to lobby your CBC Councillor in the hope that it will get added next time around. Contacts: http://libdem.webs.com/hr/councillors.html

Woodside Link Consultation

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An A3 leaflet will be delivered shortly to all properties within Houghton Regis and Dunstable consulting on the Woodside link. The consultation will also include 6 exhibitions, when members of the project team will be available. Friday, 16th November 2pm to 5.30pm - Houghton Regis Library Saturday, 17th November (10am to 1pm) - Houghton Regis Library Tuesday 20th November (3pm to 7pm) - Chalton Village Hall Wednesday 21st November (3pm to 7pm) - Sundon Village Hall The outline proposal includes an optional connecting road to the bottom of Parkside Drive. Liberal Democrat Parkside town councillor, Alan Winter, "Do local residents want a connection here? Many will not welcome this intrusion into the quiet road they have now. Others will think it will be a great opportunity to not have to drive around the estate to get out. This consultation will be an opportunity local residents should not pass pass idly by." ONLINE SCOPING REPORTS:  http://infrastructure.planning

Road Closure May Be Postponed

Notices are appearing in newspapers to the effect that the High Street, Houghton Regis will be closed over five nights from 7pm to 7am from 26th November to 1st December, between Bedford Road and Cemetery Road. Alternative route via Bedford Road, Thorn Road, A5, Houghton Road, High Street. However, during a site visit last Friday, CBC councillor David Jones, and town councillor Alan Winter, were told that this work to resurface the High Street may be postponed until January. The order for the closure allows a six month window for the work to be done.

New MUGA For Parkside Recreation Ground

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Houghton Regis Town Council gave the go ahead for purchase of a new Multi-Use-Games-Area (MUGA) during the summer. The installation is currently being carried out on Parkside recreation area. Similar to a MUGA installed at Tithe Farm Recreation ground by the Council, this new one will be in reasonable reach for Parkside, Painters, and Sandringham Drive estates. photos: A D Winter 7/5/2012

Houghton Regis Chalk Pit Autumn Newsletter

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The latest newsletter from Houghton Regis Chalk Pit is available to read online .  HIGHLIGHTS: "During the summer, illegal trespassing of motorbikers onto the reserve was a common occurrence" "a difficult year for butterflies" "some Hawthorn and Blackthorn is [being] removed to prevent it from dominating the chalk grassland" "Information panels will be displayed at the reserve before Christmas" "some of our wintering birds" "Redwings and Fieldfares" "Ravens" have appeared. Details of working party dates are included in the newsletter. Please consider volunteering some time by emailing Rebecca Pitman, Reserves Officer, 01525 874317 / 07595090776 rebecca.pitman@wildlifebcn.org See this in discussion on Facebook

Formula One Designers Coming To Town

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The region’s reputation as a world leader in innovation and engineering has been strengthened, as Formula One designers join forces with The University Technical College Central Bedfordshire for its next Open Evening. On Thursday, November 15th some of those responsible for designing F1 cars will be at the UTC Central Bedfordshire to meet current and prospective students – the young engineering and design stars of the future. Parents and students with a passion for engineering or product design are urged to come along, to meet the motorsport designers and see for themselves how studying at the UTC can help them shape their future and careers. One senior Formula One design engineer, Mark Driscoll, knows how important it is to have a great start in your career. He said: “Even though I am a design engineer, I started my career as an apprentice learning hands-on how the manufacturing process works. It's crucial to my day-to-day work that when I design a component, I understand

A Six Lane Swimming Pool For Houghton Regis

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Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Action Group have sent in this press release: A SIX LANE SWIMMING POOL FOR HOUGHTON REGIS – HAVE YOUR SAY NOW Following a meeting that Houghton Regis Leisure Centre Action Group had with Central Bedfordshire Council, Stevenage Leisure Ltd and Houghton Regis Town Council it has been revealed that the existing leisure centre contract has been extended to October 2013. This is to bring it in line with other centres run by SLL and also to provide the council with sufficient time to prepare the tender process which will encompass the five sites in Bedfordshire. It is well known that CBC have been compiling a leisure strategy, the final version of which will be voted on in December. The draft version can now be viewed on CBC’s website  . This is a very large document suggesting a variety of different options. We are now in a position to put forward to you our suggested views. We consider that Run 4 is most suitable for the needs of Houghton Regis.