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 consent and Link Road start build
Q2 2014 1st new housing and infrastructure
Q4 2014 A5 link completes and Woodside link starts
Councillors had opportunity to ask initial questions and get answers from a well briefed team.
This is going to be a twenty year project averaging about 250 new homes a year. And further public consultation exercises are seen as a way forward as the developers hope to forge strong links for themselves with the Houghton Regis present community, and for the sake of integrating the new communities into the existing character of the town.