Sunday, 29 December 2013

2700+ Emergency Calls to EEAST NHS Ambulance Christmas Day

EEAST took over 2700 emergency calls on Christmas Day. The NHS trust service says that calls typically ranged from chest pains, illnesses, falls, choking, assaults and births. Only around 30% of patients attended were life-threatening, including cardiac arrest, suspected stroke, or serious wounds.

Rob Ashford, Acting Director of Service Delivery, said: “Whilst it’s encouraging we’ve seen a slight decrease in the number of calls compared to the same period last year, we’re still seeing an increase each Christmas Day. Our staff are working as hard as ever over the period and I’m proud of all those who have been carrying out lifesaving work for the Trust over the past few days. From our call handlers, to the crews out on the roads, and everyone else - I’d like to say a huge thank you to them all.

“We will continue to be under pressure over the weekend and into next week, with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day typically being our busiest days of the year. So we’re urging members of the public to familiarise themselves with the winter health advice on our website, and to think twice before calling 999 about other options that may be available. 111 is a very useful resource in case you’re unsure about what to do and want to know what health services are available to you over the break.”

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dunstable Rugby Club Fayre - Dec 22nd 1pm - 4pm

Visit Santa: £2.50, Santa Grotto,
Door admission: Adults 50p, Children free

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Who Should Be Able to Apply To The Housing Register? Have Your Say!

Recent changes in housing law, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, have given councils more freedom to determine who can apply for council and Housing Association housing and how applications will be treated.

A draft Allocations Policy has been developed, which proposes a number of changes. The Allocations Policy governs who can apply to the housing register; the size of the property for which a person can apply and the priority for housing that applicants have in relation to one another.

Have Your Say now:

'Priory View' - new name for retirement housing complex in South Bedfordshire

The new scheme to be built on the ‘Dukeminster’ site off Church Street, Dunstable, by the side of the busway, is going to be called Priory View. This was the name chosen by tenants, members of the public and Council staff via an online poll.

Priory View will be the first of several developments for older people which Central Bedfordshire Council will bring to fruition over the coming years. It will offer 83 apartments for affordable rental and shared ownership and will have care and support available on site 24/7. In addition, it will have a number of communal facilities such as a café/restaurant, hair and beauty salon, hobby rooms and a shop. Many of these facilities will be open to the general public.

The contract for the build has now been awarded and the winning contractor, Galliford Try, will start work in the New Year.

Eligible criteria is being worked out for who can apply, but it is intended for single people or couples aged 55+ who may need some support to remain independent. There will be affordable rents and the opportunity to purchase through the shared ownership scheme.

Join the mailing list for Priory View

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

One Return Journey on the Busway Available to Travel Hub Visitors.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Travel Choices Hub in Dunstable is helping festive party-goers avoid drink-driving this Christmas by offering pre-paid tickets for travel with Arriva on Luton and Dunstable Busway services.

The tickets are valid for one return journey on the busway which serves Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton town centres. They can be collected from the Travel Hub in Ashton Square, Dunstable where Travel Advisors can also help you plan your journey.

The tickets can be used not only for evenings out but also for the 'morning after' when revellers may still be affected by alcohol.

According to research by road safety charity Brake, many people fail to understand that they may still be under the influence of alcohol the day after a night-out. One unit of alcohol takes the body an hour to break down. A person drinking three large (250ml) glasses of wine (15% alcohol) in an evening who stops drinking at midnight would not be alcohol-free for 13 hours.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development said: "The busway is a flexible, fast and reliable way to travel to an evening out in Dunstable, Houghton Regis or Luton. This excellent offer from Travel Choices gives residents the opportunity to enjoy the Christmas f
un yet stay safe and within the law."

Monday, 16 December 2013

Two Firearms Stolen from Yew Street, Tithe Farm

Guns Stolen During Houghton Regis Burglary

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information from the public after two firearms were stolen from a house in Yew Street, Houghton Regis on Tuesday, December 10.

The .22 rim fire rifle with a laminate brown wood stock which had a 3-9 x 50 Hawk telescopic sight in a Carlos camouflage sling and an air rifle were taken from the property during a burglary which happened between 4.50pm and 7.50pm when the front door was forced open.

The officer in charge of this investigation, Detective Constable Simon Day, is keen to trace anyone who may have been offered these items for sale or anyone who witnessed someone acting suspiciously in the Yew Street area of Houghton Regis last week.

Anyone with information relating to this investigation can contact Detective Constable Simon Day, in confidence, at Luton Police Station, on 01582 394449, or Bedfordshire Police on 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively you can contact the independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.



The Amazon Toys and Games promotion, with up to 50% off brands including Sylvanian Families, Scrabble, Moshi Monsters, Barbie and many more is now on! 


News from Houghton Regis Heritage Society

Houghton Regis Heritage Society raises the roof….

An amazing night was had by all who attended the first party event staged by HRHS.
More than 100 people turned out at St Vincents Social Club to participate in a 40’s/50’s 
fancy dress (optional) party on Saturday 7th December. Fiona Harrison, 'the voice in a million', entertained them wearing costumes of the period and singing songs from the era.

Many of the guests turned out in fancy dress to add to the atmosphere of the evening. The audience sang and danced, and by the end of the night left with smiles and promises of returning to the next Event.

The HRHS believes heritage can be fun and not just Talks, Museums, and old buildings.
It’s the past and the future they are interested in….Change, preservation, your roots,
even fashion….heritage covers so much.

At the November bi-monthly meeting some awesome tales of life in the fifties and sixties were told by some of the Houghton Regis residents, and of their parents and grandparents before them. The meeting flew by, and the society now wait in eager expectation of more of the same.

The society's next Open Evening will be taking place on Monday 20th of January, at St Vincents Club (7.30pm), and everyone is invited to come along and share their stories.

The society's next event is to take place on the 12th April 2014. This is planned to be a 60’s/70’s Dance, but next time will be at The Memorial Hall, Houghton Regis (opposite The
Green). Please watch for information and tickets for sale for this Event.

To learn more about the fascinating history of Houghton Regis, or the society's activities,  visit the Houghton Regis Heritage website at .

Monday, 9 December 2013

Talking About The Proposed Link Road to Parkside Drive

NOW TRENDING ON Houghton Regis News Desk

Don't just sit there, Help to Watch the Neighbourhood!

Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch 


Neighbourhood Watch is a group of residents who join together to help protect themselves and their properties from criminal activity, to reduce the fear of crime and to improve their local environment. Their primary objective is to look out for one another and report any crime or suspicious activity to the Police. By working together as a group, rather than as individuals, households can employ effective crime prevention measures and achieve safer communities to live in.

Learn about:

• Becoming a member of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)

• How to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Street Scheme

• Role of Neighbourhood Watch Street Coordinators and Members

• Neighbourhood Watch - Working together

• Neighbourhood Watch - Working with partners

• Getting in touch with the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association

Becoming a member of Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) schemes are community initiatives that are supported by the
police but are owned and run by their members. There are many street schemes up and
running in over 40 areas of Central Bedfordshire and you may already be living close to an existing Neighbourhood Watch group.

To find out if there is a scheme where you live, you can contact Central Bedfordshire
Neighbourhood Watch by email at and they will arrange for someone to contact you. If there is a group in your area you will be given details to contact the local Street or Area Coordinator to find out about joining a scheme.

Individual Neighbourhood Watch schemes may have different characteristics, depending on the area in which they are situated, although their objectives will be the same.

How to set up a new Neighbourhood Watch Street Scheme 

Anybody in a neighbourhood, however large or small, can set up a scheme. The first step is to speak to your neighbours and find out if they are interested in starting a scheme. The more residents there are who want to get involved, the more successful a scheme will be.

However, not everyone in a street or neighbourhood needs to join a scheme for it to work. It will work as long as there are enough residents to keep an eye out for each other’s properties and to liaise with the police.

In Central Bedfordshire, Area Coordinators have been established to help set up new schemes and to maintain regular contact with existing groups. They can provide valuable assistance and support, as well as additional resources, such as membership packs.

If you and your neighbours want to start a scheme, you should contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association and they will do what they can to help you.

Role of NHW Street Coordinators and Members 

The traditional role of Neighbourhood Watch Street Coordinators is to set up and maintain a scheme within a specific street or neighbourhood. They will also work within their scheme to coordinate NHW activities and ensure that a two-way flow of information is available to all.

This will assist in assuring that everyone is informed on any reported suspicious activity or incidents, on personal safety and property security, and local crime prevention initiatives.

Whatever is decided by the members, the role of a Coordinator does not have to become a burden. Depending on the size of your group, it may be useful to encourage other members to assist the Coordinator and some of the following requirements should be considered.

• Do you need to appoint a Deputy Coordinator ?

• How will you communicate with members (e.g. personal contact, email, telephone or

newsletters) ?

• If you intend to produce newsletters, how often and who will draft them ?

• Do you need to cover the costs of running the scheme (e.g. newsletters, telephone

calls, meetings) and if so, do you need to appoint a Treasurer ?

• Do you need to hold regular meetings ? If so, how often will you meet and where ?

Depending on availability, members of the Local Policing Team may be able to attend scheme meetings and provide additional advice and information on home security and other ways of keeping your neighbourhoods safer.

Neighbourhood Watch - Working together 

Traditionally, Neighbourhood Watch activities have focused on the immediate vicinity of homes, with members looking out for anything suspicious or helping their neighbours as necessary. It is now estimated that around 3.8 million households in England and Wales are members of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

However, more and more schemes are broadening their work to target a range of other problems such as anti-social behaviour, vandalism and environmental issues that directly affect their communities. When links are made with other local schemes and wider associations are formed, the membership can become a powerful voice within a community and can,

• address issues of local concern directly with members of the Local Policing Team;

• become involved in community problem-solving, including taking part in local forums
to determine which problems to target and what actions to take;

• play a more dynamic role in tackling crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour;

• promote crime prevention and home safety;

• adopt additional responsibilities to take specific action on more general community

problems, such as vehicle speeding and assisting vulnerable residents;

• assist the purposes and objectives of Neighbourhood Watch with publicity and

promotion to encourage the recruitment of new members and the establishment of

new Street schemes;

• provide advice, resources and manpower to assist the Central Bedfordshire

Neighbourhood Watch Association. 

Neighbourhood Watch - Working with partners 

Neighbourhood Watch works best where there is a strong relationship between the group
and the local police. The police cannot deal with all the problems and issues arising from crime and anti-social behaviour alone – they need the help of the community.

At a local level, Local Policing Teams will attempt to liaise with Neighbourhood Watch
volunteers on a regular basis to enable a two-way flow of communication and keep
households abreast of issues affecting their local neighbourhood that they may be able to help with. They will either do this through direct contact with PCSOs, the respective NHW Area Coordinators, the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association, or use the “Ringmaster” information and messaging system to share information about recent crimes in the area.

The purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to report suspicious events in their area to the
police. This becomes ever more important as police resources are reduced and tasks are
prioritised elsewhere. People really can make a difference to the safety of their community by reporting what they see. Neighbourhood Watch also gives people the chance to get to know and help each other better.

It is anticipated that the recent introduction of a Police and Crime Commissioner, and their associated support group the Police and Crime Panel, will want to establish a close working relationship with the NHW groups in Bedfordshire and their individual Street schemes. There are other agencies and community groups working throughout our County to sustain safer neighbourhoods and Neighbourhood Watch will be represented, wherever possible.

Getting in touch with the Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch Association 

You can contact the Central Bedfordshire NHW Association at the following email address: 

Or, visit our website at:

Or, call the Neighbourhood Watch Support Officer on 01234 275165 / 842043

December 2013

Latest Planning Applications For Houghton Regis Awaiting Decision

02 / 12 / 2013 CB/13/04186/FULL
Location: Thornhill Lower School, Grove Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5PE
Proposal: Conversion and extension of existing single-storey store into a Breakfast Club Room

18 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/04003/FULL
Location: Houghton Hall, The Green, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5DY
Proposal: New single-storey staff accommodation building (Renewal of planning permission CB/10/03549/REN)

1 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/03956/FUL
Location: 7 & 8 Westbury Close, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BL
Proposal: Change of use from light industrial to gymnasium (D2 class use)

08 / 11 / 2013 CB/13/03879/FULL
Location: Unit F1, Townsend Farm Road, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BA
Proposal: Change of use to D1 for the purpose of a meeting place for the Kids in Action charity to take part in various activities

25 / 10 / 2013 CB/13/03666/REG3
Location: 33 Westbury Close, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5BL
Proposal: Change of use from light industrial to Martial Arts studio (D2 use)

22 / 10 / 2013 CB/13/03357/FULL
Location: Land at former Church of St Vincent, Tithe Farm Road, Houghton Regis
Proposal: Erection of 58 Bed Nursing Home with associated parking and manoeuvring C2 use.

Find these planning applications here:

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Campaign Group Optimistic for Future of Houghton Regis Swimming Pool

In a letter to members, HRLCAG say they are 'excited' and 'confident' about the prospects for the re-opening of the swimming pool in Houghton Regis. Here is the letter, that is in the public domain:

"We are now at a crucial stage in the Tender Process for a new 7 year contract covering Houghton Regis, Flitwick, Sandy and Biggleswade Leisure Centres. Two of our committee members, Bruce Hallam and Christine Clavey are working alongside CBC and will now sit in and assess the Tender presentations on Friday 13th.  A decision will then be made as to who CBC will award the contract to. Following all the legal processes we will have a decision announced during the first week of January. Is the pool included in the bid I hear you asking. It has definitely been included as an option... we are so excited. After campaigning since October 2010 we are almost there.  We know that the council have ring-fenced money to cover the re-opening of the pool and re-furbishing the changing rooms. We just hope that the suggested running costs of the pool are realistic.

"For you to hear the latest news as it happens, we are holding an Action Group Meeting on Monday 6th January at St Vincents Social Centre, Hammersmith Gardens. Please come along not only to hear the news but also to discuss and help organise a “celebration of re-opening the pool” party. Yes, we feel that confident. The proposed date for the party is Saturday 5th April 2014. This is just after the successful management company take over the leisure centre.

"Please, please come along - without you and the support you gave us at the Public Meetings way back in 2011 we would not be in this position now. It was you turning up in your hundreds that forced the council to re-think its strategy. We want you to be part of the celebrations and help decide how we organise it.

"All that remains now is for me, on behalf of the Action Group to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year - hopefully made even healthier by having our swimming pool back!

Good wishes to you all

Publicity Officer, HRLCAG
Acting Membership Secretary.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Car Cruise Revellers Targeted by Police in Foster Avenue, Houghton Regis

Three Section 59 Notices Issued At Car Cruise

Bedfordshire Police have issued three Section 59 notices during another operation aimed at cracking down on nuisance drivers who attend ‘Car Cruises’.

Residents living near Foster Avenue, Houghton Regis, had contacted Bedfordshire Police about a significant increase in the number of vehicles that were attending the industrial area and the drivers who were participating in antisocial behaviour. It was believed that over 100 vehicles would regularly attend the location with some driving in a reckless manner by racing, wheel-spinning, and performing “donuts” along the road.

Last Sunday (November 24) officer attended Foster Avenue as a ‘Cruise’ was taking place and seized two Vauxhall Astra VXRs as the drivers or vehicles had already been issued with Section 59 notices.

On Sunday night (December 1) a smaller operation took place with members of the Local Policing Team and colleagues from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit attending Foster Avenue once again.

Despite far fewer revellers being at the location, three Section 59 notices were issued along with a VDRS (Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme) due to an illegal number plate being on display. Officers also received intelligence regarding motoring offences and those drivers involved – who had left before officers arrived – will be located and spoken to.

Sergeant Linda Wilson of the Local Policing Team in Houghton Regis said: “It appears that people have taken notice and heeded the warnings issued previously by Bedfordshire Police. There were far fewer vehicles at Foster Avenue this weekend and the majority of drivers in attendance were very co-operative and genuinely concerned about the behaviour of others who had attended previously.

“People living near to the Woodside Industrial Estate should not have to have their lives disrupted by nuisance motorists and I hope that this continuing action shows that we are taking these incidents seriously.

“Officers have the power to seize vehicles and have them destroyed when necessary and anyone caught driving illegally could also be dealt with for motoring offences such as driving without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.”

Anyone with information concerning nuisance vehicles can contact Bedfordshire Police on the 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

16 Year Old From Houghton Takes Part in Youth Parliament

Young politicians take part in House of Commons Debate


Two Members of the Youth Parliament from Central Bedfordshire joined 300 young people from across the UK at the House of Commons for the UK Youth Parliament’s Annual Sitting last week.

Eighteen year-old George Nodwell from Tempsford and sixteen year-old Nathan Marshall from Houghton Regis debated five motions, chaired by the Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP, including one which called for 16 and 17 year-olds to be given the vote in all public elections.

George, said:

"I have been lucky enough to attend the Annual Sitting at the House of Commons twice and enjoyed it even more the second time around. As always when I first went it took my breath away and the excitement built rapidly. The debates held were amazing and made what we do worth while. I was particularly lucky as I got to speak on the topic of Work Experience and although nervous throughout, this had to be my highlight of the day. Overall I feel privileged to have gone and proud to have had my voice heard."

The next elections for the Youth Parliament are due to take place early in the new year. The deadline for prospective candidates to put themselves forward is Friday 29 November. Young people who are successfully elected as Members of the Youth Parliament (MYP) have the chance to have their say on a wide range of different issues. They work on behalf of other young people to influence decisions on things like the environment, transport, crime, health and also get the chance to work directly with Councillors and senior managers within the Council, the Police and other organisations. The Council's Youth Support Service provides support and guidance to all members of the Youth Parliament to ensure they are engaged in as many exciting and different aspects of local life as possible.

Cllr Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said:

"I am really pleased that two of our young people got the chance to get involved in this fantastic event – it must have been an inspiring experience and one they won’t forget.

"Remember there is still time to put yourself forward as a candidate for the Youth Parliament elections next year. This is a great opportunity for to get involved in the local democratic process, make some noise and see some change. So why not give it a go and have a say on decisions that affect you."

If you would like to find out more about the work of Central Bedfordshire Youth Parliament or additional opportunities for young people to get involved in within Central Bedfordshire then contact Lisa Wright or Jason Roth-Witty on or

Police Seize Cars Involved in Anti-Social Behaviour Sting

Vehicles Seized During Car Cruising Crackdown

Bedfordshire Police have seized two Vauxhall Astra VXRs during an operation to crackdown a recent increase in ‘Car Cruises’ that have been taking place in Houghton Regis.

Residents living near Foster Avenue, Houghton Regis, have contacted Bedfordshire Police about a significant increase in the number of vehicles that were attending the industrial area and the drivers who were participating in antisocial behaviour. It was believed that over 100 vehicles would regularly attend the location with some driving in a reckless manner by racing, wheel-spinning, and performing “donuts” along the road.

Houghton Regis Councillors are among those who have been asking for police action, as the noise level was particularly acute in the Manor Park Estate.

On Sunday evening (November 24) members of the Local Policing Team as well as colleagues from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit and the Special Constabulary attended Foster Avenue as a ‘Cruise’ was taking place. Officers entered from either end of Foster Avenue to ensure that those in attendance were all stopped and spoken to.

As a result of the action two Vauxhall Astra VXRs were seized by officers as the drivers or vehicles had already been issued with Section 59 notices. Three more Section 59 notices were issued while four people were dealt with in regards to traffic violations and one person was reported for driving offences.

Inspector Jim Hitch, of the Central Policing Team at Bedfordshire Police, said: “It is fair to say that there were some very unhappy people who were walking home after the operation in Houghton Regis on Sunday night. Nuisance vehicles have been a blight on the lives of residents’ living near to the Woodside Industrial Estate for a number of months and I hope that our action shows that we are taking these incidents seriously.

“This is by no means a one-off operation and we will be keeping a close eye on people attending car cruises. Those committing offences can expect to come into contact with Bedfordshire Police on a more regular basis and we will use all available legislation to crackdown on this form of antisocial behaviour.

“Officers have the power to seize vehicles and have them destroyed when necessary and anyone caught driving illegally could also be dealt with for motoring offences such as driving without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.”

Anyone with information concerning nuisance vehicles can contact Bedfordshire Police on the 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Autism and ADHD - Knowledge and Information

Thanks to funding from Central Beds Council, Home Start a family support charity and Outside-iN, a voluntary organisation who support families of children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and ADHD, have joined together to create an exciting new initiative.  
The Bedfordshire Autism and ADHD Toolkit aims to provide a range of services to families who are affected by these conditions.  These are lifelong conditions and our aim is to provide the ‘tools’ needed for success.
Linda Johnson, Chief Executive Officer for Home-Start in Central Bedfordshire said “this is a very exciting project and shows the commitment of CBC, Outside-iN and Home-Start to provide tangible practical help and support to parents who have a child or children with these conditions”   Home-Start has been working to support families who are experiencing difficulties since 1984 through a variety of different projects and have a team of specially trained volunteers who can offer practical and emotional support to families in their homes.  They are always looking for more volunteers to join the team.
ADHD and Autism are hidden disabilities that often go unrecognised and are widely misunderstood; every aspect of a person’s life can be affected.  Official statistics show that ADHD affects between 5% and 7% of the population and 1% of people are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. 
Helen Child co-founder of Outside-iN said “these conditions are very common in children and young people and can be very challenging to manage both at home and in school.  It is essential that parent/carers are well informed and knowledgeable about their child’s condition and education is a big part of the formula for success”.
Outside-iN aims encourage parents/carers to gain as much knowledge and information as they can to support their children to lead happy and fulfilling lives and achieve their full potential. 
Outside-iN provide a range of services to both parents and professionals that include regular support groups throughout the county, a helpline, specialist coaching and parent training courses.
For further information about this project please contact:-
Linda Johnson or Nikki Campbell – Home-Start: 01582 660061
Helen Child or Debbie Savage – Outside-iN: 01462 813282
Or visit our website:-
Or email us
November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Houghton Regis Heritage Society website Roll of Honour

A new page has been added to the Houghton Regis Heritage Society website remembering the men of Houghton Regis who gave there lives in the Great Wars, it includes the Roll of Honour and a link to more detailed information.

A Celebration of Christmas - Nov 20th - The Grove - With Houghton Regis Schools

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Parkside Drive - Connect to Woodside Or Not?

Impression of the playing and amenity field if Parkside Drive
is connected to "Woodside Connection".
How do you feel now about the CBC proposal?
Before answering, you may want to read this:

Extra noise and pollution in Parkside Drive?
Unsafe to play on?
Would it be used as a rat-run to other parts of Houghton Regis?
Detrimental affect on health and quality of life?
Safety of children and dogs?
Air quality?
What about noise at the narrowest point - would residents there be able to sleep with windows open?
Removal of hedgerow?
Effect on wildlife?

Read some representations by others:

Have Your Say. Comment below, or more formally to

"If you have a legal interest in land affected by a nationally significant infrastructure project and have not already registered to become an interested party, then you can make a request to the Examining Authority to become an interested party under s102A of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended)."

This is for people who have recently, since the start of hte examination, acquired land that would be affected by the plans and were not told by the developer.


Letter received from a resident

"Hello, I was the only local resident Interested Party attending the meeting yesterday and was given opportunity to speak, which I wasn't expecting, so it was a bit overwhelming. The Town Clerk, Clare Evans, and I were disappointed not to be able to talk about our written representations on the Parkside Link, but that will come later, or so we are told. The examiner needs more than a week to digest all the contributions besides ours. Nevertheless, I asked about the construction compound which appeared to be accessed via Parkside Drive. It was quite confusing and very tiring, but Clare and I stuck it out all the way to 4.00pm.

What was clear is that Mr Roberts the examiner is disappointed that not one person had registered a desire to speak at the Open Floor Hearing on January 23rd 2014 by the deadline for registering on 7th November. This is the opportunity for anyone to attend, and Interested Parties may speak or ask about anything at all in the plans, there's no agenda. You create the agenda. That is our opportunity. But like others I don't make plans that far ahead so I thought I'd leave it and see how things go. That's not the way they operate. You have to book ahead for the right to speak and attend. You may turn up on the day but take the risk of there being no space. Mr Roberts will cancel that Open Floor hearing on 23rd January unless he receives requests to speak by the revised deadline of 21st November, which is this coming Thursday. "

Interested parties can request to speak by emailing the Planning Inspectorate case team:

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Day That Pudsey Came to Town

BBC's The One Show Rickshaw Challenge with Pudsey passes Frenchs Avenue, on the Houghton Regis/Dunstable border at 12:05 15/11/2013

Woodside Connection - CBC respond to representations

Report by Cllr Alan Winter, Houghton Regis Town Councillor, Parkside Ward.

Updates are now available to read online regarding progress of Central Bedfordshire Council's (CBC) application for the proposed new road for the south and east of Houghton Regis.

CBC have added their comments to the representations made.

I have summarised for News Desk readers the main points of this document below (document 3 on page

Concerns include:

-  potential for more congestion at Park Rd North/ Poynters Rd roundabout:  CBC argue that a rebuilt roundabout will help more traffic to use it.

- blight and noise nuisance on properties adjacent to the new roadway: CBC argue that noise reduction measures will be made, and new landscaping will help to reduce the visual impact and noise levels.

- Natural England made several representations and have worked with CBC to achieve acceptable outcomes.

- The Town Council originally objected to connection to Sundon Rd (The Town Council now support this connection): CBC argue that HGV restrictions will be in place and that the connection would help to remove traffic from Houghton Regis town centre.

- The Town Council do not support connection via Parkside Drive, on environmental grounds, an increase in traffic, and the early understanding that the link was not favoured by a majority of residents living in the lower Parkside area. CBC argue that the link was included to help Houghton Park estate residents reach employment, leisure and retail places in the new development area.

- Luton Borough Council had a number of concerns including that they did not want the Pastures Way to Parkside link reopened. CBC reply that the reopening of the link is not in their plans.

- Water will run down the slope and cause flooding - CBC dismiss this argument.

- The Parkside Drive link would be too narrow for vehicles, the route would become a rat run, there would be 7,000 to 8,000 vehicle movements a day,  more noise day and night for residents, many drivers would ignore a 20mph speed limit, there would be extra noise and fumes at junction with Woodside link road, nearby amenity land would be lost or be made unsafe. CBC argue that the noise increase would be less than 3dB(A), speed control measures would be undertaken, new planting would be carried out, the open space would be managed.

- The road uses Green Belt land : CBC argue that the housing development land and land for roads is proposed to be removed from the Green Belt.

- Loss of air quality and plants: CBC argue that no significant adverse affects will occur, and that new planting will be done.

- Lots of through traffic will go down Parkside Drive to the new road. CBC argue that their traffic predictions show mainly a use by local estate traffic, and not through traffic.

- That the route is not direct as it could be across open land: CBC argue that they are aware of development intentions of others and this route makes best use of land.

- That it is unclear what the speed limit will be: CBC discuss what the limit could be.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


You are invited to attend a public event about the quality of Luton & Dunstable Hospital clinical care.

It will be held in Dunstable on Thursday, November 14 at 10am in the Salvation Army Worship and Community Centre, Bull Pond Lane.

There will be an opportunity at the meeting for the audience to put questions to the panel.

Speakers will include South West Beds MP Andrew Selous, hospital chairman Spencer Colvin, medical director Dr Mark Patten, and GP and health commissioner Dr Paul Hassan.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Hawthorn Park Primary and Tithe Farm Primary - Have Your Say on School Admissions Policy

Have your say on proposals to change school admissions arrangements.

Central Bedfordshire Council is seeking the views of schools, parents, carers and other interested parties on admissions arrangements for Community and Voluntary schools from 2015/16.

Within the consultation there are specific changes that will affect Hawthorn Park Primary and Tithe Farm Primary, Houghton Regis

  •  priority to be given to children attending the Nursery school at each school. 

This is to be inserted as criterion five between other siblings and those to be prioritised on straight line distance.

The consultation has  now started and runs until Monday 20th January 2013.

The consultation document is also available to view at . The deadline for responses is 5pm on 20th January

The current standard criteria for allocating places at an oversubscribed school: 

1. All 'looked after' children or children who were previously 'looked after'
2. Children living in the catchment area with siblings at the school
3. Children living in the catchment area
4. Other children with siblings at the school
5. priority to be given to children attending the Nursery school at each school. 
5.6. Children who live nearest to the school determined by straight line distance from the school site to the child's home address.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Houghton Regis: Traffic Stopped for Remembrance Service

Traffic was stopped through Houghton Regis today while those attending a Remembrance Service at the Memorial on The Green heard the last post and paused for a minute's silence.

Police held traffic up in the High Street and on The Green following complaints last year when the traffic was allowed to carry on driving through.

The Remembrance Sunday Service was conducted by Father Brian Wheelhouse at All Saints Church, Houghton Regis, and the congregation lead by the choir then proceeded along the High Street to the Memorial.

The Service for Armistice Day will be taking place on Monday 11th November at 11am at the Memorial Stone. Those attending should start gathering at 10:40am.

Photos (can be re-used with credit to): A D Winter

Friday, 8 November 2013

News You May Have Missed - to 8 Nov 2013

CBC Highways Annual Report  report on Google drive (may not display on IE on older PCs). - Nov 8th

Fingers Crossed for Houghton Regis Swimming Pool 

NOV 8th DEBATES. BAN THE BOOK: Nadine Dorries is advocating the banning of a book that she claims "... actually advocates the beating of children, under the age of 12 months, using a switch. Facebook Comments

Nov 5th: Crime - Garage break-ins Facebook Comments

Nov 7th - Raising money for keech hospice collecting ' beany bears ' to sell after Christmas.

Events at Kings Arms, Houghton Regis

Nov 7th: Police are seeking witnesses following a spate of robberies by a teenage gang in the area. The group usually travel on bikes. Story and comments.

Nov 7th: WATER: Are you a low user? You could be saving money by not paying standing charges. Story and comments

Nov 4th: TITHE FARM: Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after two teenagers were taken to hospital for treatment after being assaulted by a gang of youths in Houghton Regis last week.  Story and comments

Nov 4th: No star for the Houghton Regis Christmas Tree. Story and comments

Nov 6th: 20 years Prison for Prolific Drug Dealers frrom Leagrave and Dunstable. Link

Nov 6th: Woodside Link - HRTC to Object to Parkside Link Story and Comments

May 12th (Liked this week): An old building opposite Morrison's supermarket, at 74-76 High Street, has been given permission to have its superstructure demolished as it is now unsafe. But in a twist to the decision, it has been made absolutely clear to the applicants that removal of the foundations would be subject to a separate planning application. Liked this week

Nov 4th: Lost dog. Story and comment

Nov 3rd: Zumba in Houghton Regis

Nov 3rd: The Houghton Regis Town Crier

Nov 2nd: Fireworks comments

Nov 1st: Where's Wally?

Nov 1st: Commentary on the modern Houghton Regis compared to the old Houghton Regis village. Story and comments

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Fingers Crossed for Houghton Regis Swimming Pool

Houghton Regis Leisure Centre is among six Leisure Centres identified by Central Bedfordshire  Council as requiring investment.

£150,000 is required  to reopen the Houghton Regis swimming pool. The procurement of a new leisure management contract for this centre is underway and will market test the cost of reopening the pool. Should reopening the pool be considered to be affordable then the capital works will be undertaken in 2014.

A decision on improvements at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre in Parkside Drive, will be made as part of the new leisure management contract.

Cllr Susan Goodchild, for Houghton Hall ward, said, "Fingers crossed. I hope we get our swimming pool".

Other Leisure works in Central Bedfordshire also await approval by the full council. Funds approved in the Council’s capital programme between 2013/14 and 2016/17 include:

• Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre: £1.4m refurbishment and expansion for fitness, a reception and café, and building work is underway.

• Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre: £1.6m extension for sports hall, currently at tender stage.

• At Flitwick, the CBC executive committee are recommending  an eight lane, 25m swimming pool with separate variable base learner pool, four court sports hall, health and fitness station with around 120 stations, three workout studios, changing facilities, 2 squash courts, a crèche, café, soft play area, climbing wall and two outdoor 5-a-side pitches.

• Sandy Sport and Community Centre: £150k to refurbish the athletics track, planned to start in March 2013.

• Dunstable Leisure Centre: £2.3m refurbishment programme. A brief for an initial options appraisal is being developed.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Woodside Link - HRTC to Object to Parkside Link

The next stage of the Woodside Link - CBC's proposed new road around the south and east side of Houghton Regis - is a meeting on the 15th November. The current position of the Houghton Regis Town Council, after taking professional advice, is to support connection of the link road to Sundon Road, and to object to the CBC proposed link to the southern end of Parkside Drive. The documents supporting the TC case are available to view online.

To read information about the Woodside scheme etc. see the CBC page at

The timetable and current representations for this scheme can be found here:

Friday, 25 October 2013

Could You Be A Dementia Friend?

A groundbreaking scheme to raise awareness and understanding of dementia is winging its way to Central Bedfordshire.

The Dementia Friends initiative, run by national charity Alzheimer’s Society, aims to improve public knowledge of dementia by helping people understand what living with the condition might be like, and the small things they could to make a difference to people living in their community.

This could be something as simple as being able to recognise someone with dementia and help them get on the right bus.

Locally we are on the lookout for people to volunteers as Dementia Friends. Anyone of any age can become one and there are lots of reasons why you might want to volunteer.

Perhaps you have a job that means you might have contact with people who you think might have dementia, at public contact points, meetings or directly supporting? Or maybe you want to learn more about the condition so you can better understand the needs of family members, a friend or neighbour? Whatever the reason, you’ll be making a difference.

Sue Wilson, Bedfordshire Dementia Friend Champion, said: "Raising awareness and reducing the stigma of dementia is vitally important, not only to support the one in three people who will have dementia at some point in their lives, but to make the lives of those who care for them less stressful. We owe it to our parents, ourselves and our children to know enough and to care enough".

If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend and joining thousands of others up and down the country, then you’ll need to register online and then attend a ‘Dementia Friends Information Session’.

Each session lasts about an hour, and you’ll learn much more about how you can help create a dementia friendly community where you live.

For more information or to book online visit the Dementia Friends website at .
The web site also has details of additional courses that are also being offered.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dates set For Woodside Connection Hearings

Dates have been set aside for hearings for the examination of the application by Central Bedfordshire COuncil for a Development Consent Order for the proposed Woodside Link.

The road would connect Woodside Industrial Estate in Houghton Regis to the planned Junction 11A of the M1. Almost 2.5km of new road would be built as a single carriageway, with the remainder as dual carriageway. The express purpose of the road would be to reduce traffic in Houghton Regis and Dunstable, especially HGVs accessing Woodside Industrial Estate.

Plans and other details



Sunday, 13 October 2013

This Week's News for Houghton Regis to 13 October 2013

Dunstablians Rugby photos by Anthony McGill ~pictures and comments

Pride of Houghton Award Winners ~ photos ~ pictures and comments

Travellers take to the bus to get to and from the footie ~ picture and comments

SUNDAY BLOGS: Cycling in this area, and the work being done by CBC Travel Choices.

RSPCA are looking for anyone with information about who may have dumped two cats at Georgina petrol station


MP Andrew Selous, "Dunstable, the crumpet capital"

Has anyone tried the latest incarnation of the Indian restaurant on the square?

A number of high wattage, high maintenance, orange glow lanterns currently situated in Houghton Regis will be replaced with more cost effective ones.The new ‘Induction’ lanterns will provide a white light instead of the bleak orange. The work is expected to finish before the end of the year.Various roads affected: 
Tithe Farm (Yew, Thornhill, Hillborough Crescent, Leaf, Churchfield, Delmont, Vicarage, Camp, Beech, Meadow, Park. Also Cemetery and Dunstable Roads. Parkside: Fensome, Henley, Rosedale, Conway, Hammersmith Close. Story and comments

HOUGHTON ROAD: Construction works to widen the footway in order to provide a shared pedestrian/cycle facility from Cemetery Road to All Saints Academy are due to start on Tuesday 1st October 13. Works are likely to take approximately 12 weeks to complete but will be suspended during the Christmas period and restart in January. Comments

Taylor Wimpey plan 190 new homes - public consultation announced for 17th and 18th October from 5pm. Story and comments

Tribute to 81 year Winnie Smith from St Andrew's Lane, who died 9 days after being attacked by 40 year old Darren Emerson, in March this year. Story and comment

A local private hire cab driver who collected non-booked fares and transported passengers without insurance has been prosecuted by Central Bedfordshire Council Public Protection team. The driver, Tasir Hussain Shah (62) of Lincoln Road, Luton, was ordered to pay £450 costs by the court. Story and comment

Craft Fair 11th October. poster and comment

Does your 4 year old know enough? What are your thoughts on parenting? And before you reply, have a read at these words of wisdom story and comment

PCC looks to charging more Council Tax, increasing Police use of I.T. and closing Police Stations. Story and comments

Motorway junction / Woodside link - reader comment

dog fouling in Houghton Hall park - reader comment

dog, has gone missing from the Vicarage - reader comment

Addressing the Mayor 

80 police officers to be recruited to keep Bedfordshire Police Service at the level it should be at. Story and comment

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Growing Celebrated At Houghton Regis Day Centre

A celebration event was held in Houghton Regis on Tuesday this week to mark the first season of a new growing project for people with a learning disability.

The gardening project has  been running since March 2013. Customers at the Townsend Day Centre have been involved in a weekly horticultural and therapeutic gardening session. Additionally the group improved their communication, socialisation and independent living skills.

Over the last 30 weeks, 15 customers from the Day Centre have each learnt about different aspects of gardening; maintaining soil, the importance of watering, sowing seeds, nurturing plants and harvesting crops.

The project received funding from Baily Thomas Charitable Trust, Central Bedfordshire Council, Houghton Regis Town Council, Tesco Charity Trust, Boots plc, and Mrs Karen Lara. The project was set up by Central Bedfordshire Council and local environmental charity Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire.

If you’re interested in Groundwork running a growing project with you, or for more information about the project, please contact Natalie Sutterby at Groundwork – / 01582 720147 / 07887 867771.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Olly Tells Houghton Regis Town Council He Has to Make Savings

The Police and crime commissioner, Olly Martins last night addressed a meeting of Houghton Regis Town Council for over an hour.

He gave a talk about his role as Bedfordshire's Commissioner, giving those present an idea of his day-to-day work. At one point he referred to acting like a "yo-yo". It is believed this was a reference to attending a meeting in Bedford, travelling to Luton for another meeting, travelling back to Bedford for another, then back home to Luton. He said this was not a good use of his time ordinarily, but had believed it important to attend all the meetings.

The commissioner explained that crime figures were generally going down. 80 police officers were to be recruited just to keep the Bedfordshire force at the level that it needed to be at.

Mr Martins went on to explain how he intended to make savings of £7.5million, on top of the £15million taken out of the police budget since 2010, to meet intended cuts by HM Treasury.

Olly talked through his 5 point plan to tackle the funding gap.
1. There would be more collaboration between adjacent policing authorities.
2. More use would be made of  volunteers.
3. He would seek to increase the amount of council tax levied on local households.
4. He would encourage greater use of Information Technology in the local police force.
5. He would look to reduce the cost of running buildings.

Houghton Regis Town Councillors cross-questioned the Commissioner, imparticular raising concerns about what the closure of Houghton Regis Police Station in Sundon Road might mean for the town.

The Commissioner said that he had consulted widely with the public about his proposals. An official public survey had ended on October 1st.  Mr Martins had not yet had sight of those findings, so was unable to indicate what may or may not be happening.

Friday, 27 September 2013

NCT Nearly New Sale - 28th September


The rising cost of living and tough economic climate mean many families are having to tighten their belts. Recent NCT research showed that one in two new parents (50%) had bought second hand baby or toddler items in the last six months and the majority were more likely to buy things such as baby or toddler clothes, toys, prams and high chairs second-hand rather than new.

Cash-strapped parents and parents-to-be in Dunstable and District can find all the top quality baby clothes, toys and equipment they need at an upcoming NCT Nearly New Sale, and save around 70% on what they would cost brand new.

Well-established and trusted by over 200,000 parents who visit them every year, NCT Nearly New Sales represent the best sales of excellent quality used baby and children’s items.

NCT Dunstable & District Branch Nearly New Sale is on Saturday 28th September 2013 at Watling Lower School, Bullpond Lane, Dunstable, LU6 3BJ from 11.15am – 12.30pm. NCT members can gain early entry with a valid membership card at 11am. Find out more online or on our Facebook page

Your local NCT Nearly New Sale offers an affordable alternative to trawling the high street for pricey baby products. Meanwhile, families with baby goods they no longer need can ensure they go to a good home and make some cash at the same time. Items must be in excellent condition, and sellers keep up to 70% of the proceeds while the rest is returned to fund NCT’s work.

NCT Nearly New Sales, sponsored by Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure, are the charity’s largest fundraiser, raising over £1 million every year to help support parents in their communities and through UK wide projects. They help NCT branches provide face-to-face support to parents on their doorsteps, as well as funding national helplines, breastfeeding counselling, training antenatal and postnatal teachers and many more services.

Sally Thurbon, NNS Coordinator, NCT Dunstable & District Branch, says: “NCT Nearly New Sales are a simple idea, with so many benefits. Some parents sell items they no longer need, others hunt for bargains, and whether you’re buying, selling or both you can be sure you’re helping to support other parents in the Dunstable area by funding NCT charity’s vital work. The Sales are open to everyone, not just NCT members, so we hope to see you there!”

For more information contact Sally Thurbon on 07932 669287 or email

Notes to Editors:
NCT Nearly New Sales are sponsored by Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure.
NCT is the UK’s largest parent charity. Each year the charity supports millions of parents through their first 1,000 days, offering expert information and trusted practical and emotional support through its website, helpline, the nationwide network of over 300 local branches, antenatal and postnatal classes, breastfeeding counselling and peer support schemes. For more information call NCT on 0300 330 0770 or visit
The survey was done for NCT by One Poll.  It surveyed 1000 parents of 0-3 year olds, online, between 28 February 2013 and 4 March 2013. It also revealed that the main reason for buying things for their child second-hand was to save money (67%) as well as being able to get more for their money (34%) and being able to buy more expensive brands at lower costs (29%).
For more information on the NCT survey on second hand baby goods contact or tel: 020 8752 2404

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Festival for Older People - 10th October 2013

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire are working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council,
Aragon Housing and their residents group (ROAR) together with the Older Peoples Reference Group (OPRG) to host this year’s Festival for Older People.

UK Older People’s Day which falls on the 1st October with this special event. The Festival for Older People will be held on -

Thursday 10th October 2013, at Flitwick Village Hall

starting at 10.00 until 14.30.

This year the focus for the day is about sharing the skills and experience between different generations. Encouraging people to prepare well for and enjoy a positive later life benefits each of us individually and society as a whole. The day therefore celebrates later life and the huge contribution older people make to their communities. Everyone has a parent or grandparent, colleague or friend who they look to for advice and to learn from - Older People’s Day is all about bringing older and younger people together to create better understanding and respect.

Statutory and voluntary organisations and local groups who offer advice and information about local services for older people, such as social care, health, housing, leisure activities, holistic services and much more, will be invited to take a stand and exhibit at the event.

Entertainment throughout the day will include a magician, belly dancing and physical activities.

If you would like to take a stand at the Festival please contact Nikki at by 27th September 2013. In order to secure space at the Festival there is a small charge to exhibit; details are available from Nikki at the above email address.  Or call 0300 303 8554.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Pizza Delivery Man Robbed In Houghton Regis

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a pizza delivery driver was attacked and robbed by a gang of youths in Houghton Regis on Saturday night (September 14).

The incident took place at around 9pm as the victim was making a delivery in Trident Drive. As he made his way down an alleyway to the front of the house, he was approached by a gang of around ten males – all in their mid to late teens - who demanded that he handed over the order and any money he was carrying. One of the group then assaulted the victim before they fled with two large pizzas, two side orders, drinks and around £20 in cash.

The main offender is described as being a black male, between 15 and 18 years old, five feet four inches tall, wearing a black hooded top, black tracksuit bottoms and black gloves.

Detective Constable Mandy Godfree, who is investigating the incident, is keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the attack or may have information about the offenders.

If you have information relating to this incident, contact DC Godfree, in confidence, on 01582 394443, the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Curious about becoming a Musical Star?

A new term of Inspiring Music starts this week at four music centres across Central Bedfordshire.

Residents in Houghton Regis have a choice of travelling to Ampthill, Biggleswade, Dunstable or Leighton Buzzard  for Musical Sessions when the venues throw open their doors from this Saturday (14 September).

Activities will cater for all ages and instruments, including early years and beginners.

There’s a huge range of musical instruments and different activities on offer, including African Drumming, Rock bands, Jazz groups , Ukuleles and much, much more.

The Saturday morning sessions take place between 9.15am and 12.30pm during term time and Inspiring Music staff will be on hand to offer and advice and answer questions.


· Ampthill Music Centre - Redborne Upper School, Flitwick Road, Ampthill MK45 2NU

· Biggleswade Music Centre - Biggleswade Academy,Mead End, Biggleswade, SG18 8JU

· Dunstable Music Centre, Barnfield Vale Academy, Wilbury Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4QP

· Leighton Linslade Music Centre, Vandyke Upper School, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 2AE


Full membership (for attendance for the full three hours each week) costs £76.50, part-time membership (for attendance for one and a half hours each week) costs £51.

For more information about Inspiring Music activities, visit the service's website,

Age 16-24? FREE Driving Courses In Luton and Central Bedfordshire

Only a few places are left on a young people's driving course!

Get advice, drive on a skid -pan or even learn about rallying! The driving courses are open to young drivers from across Central Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Council areas, and the Councils are funding them.

The courses run on 22 September 2013. 16 to 24 year olds living in the area should sign up by writing to

MORE 16 is aimed at 16 year-olds to provide their first experience of driving. Parents are encouraged to participate to receive advice on choosing a driving instructor and how to help their teens when practising. A high-speed passenger ride with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as rallying or racing is available to all parents that attend.

MORE Drive offers 17 to 24 year olds, who have already passed their driving test, the chance to drive on a skid-pan and experience ABS braking systems, as well as practising emergency stops at speed to demonstrate varying stopping distances.

Five workshops, covering driving skills, maintenance, what to look for when buying a used car and distractions and safety, will be run by the local authorities, Bedfordshire Police and Three Shires Driving School.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Exciting Kindle Reader Deals

Imagine reading outside in bright sunlight on an e-reader! The new Paperwhite from Kindle allows you to do just that. The Paperwhite features a higher-contrast display, a built-in light, a powerful new processor, and the latest touchscreen technology. The new devices are dedicated to reading. 

Perhaps surprisingly, unlike a tablet, Kindle Paperwhite will not get heavy as you read. And you won't get annoying pop-up messages to tell you that your Aunty Flo has just fed the pigs on Apple Farm! It won't interrupt your story with e-mails or other alerts, and the battery lasts ages, not hours. And, you can carry on reading outdoors any time the sun suddenly brightens up your world from behind a cloud.

Kindle Paperwhite was built without compromise to deliver the ultimate reading experience, and is available for only £109. Reading has never been so enjoyable. 

Kindle Paperwhite 3G also comes with free 3G wireless no hunting or paying for Wi-Fi hotspots, no annual contracts or monthly fees for only £169. 

Friday, 6 September 2013


Central Bedfordshire Press Release
For Immediate Release
PR 1682
05 September 2013


A major residential, commercial and community development on land north of Houghton Regis has today been granted outline planning permission by Central Bedfordshire Council's Development Management Committee.

The scheme put forward by the Houghton Regis Development Consortium, comprises 5,150 homes and 216,200 sqm of buildings supporting employment, retail, leisure and community facilities including a care home. The new development will create 2,500 jobs within the new retail and industrial provision and a further 2,500 jobs during construction.

Forming part of the larger Houghton Regis North extension proposed in the Council's emerging Development Strategy, the permission will deliver a big proportion of the 7,000 homes identified for this area to meet growing local housing and employment needs and will take some 20 years to complete.

The development will also make a £45m [contribution] towards the construction of the A5-M1 Link Road and will help to deliver the new Woodside Link road which are both much needed to relieve congestion in the local area. As well as serving the development, the new A5-M1 Link, a 2.9 stretch of dual carriageway north of Dunstable and Houghton Regis, has wider strategic importance. By relieving traffic congestion - particularly in our town centres - and providing quick links to the motorway network it will support the regeneration of both Dunstable and Houghton Regis and make the area even more attractive to business.

The contribution to the Link Road and other community facilities that the development will provide will be subject to a 'Section 106' planning agreement. Councillors granted outline planning permission subject to the completion of this planning agreement and referral to the Secretary of State.

Because the development site is designated as Green Belt land, the application needs to be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, for a further decision on the planning permission. He will have the choice of allowing the application to be determined locally or requesting a 'call in', prompting a planning inquiry overseen by an independent planning inspector.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities (Strategic Planning and Economic Development) says: "This decision marks a significant milestone in our plans to meet identified housing needs for the next generation and to stimulate economic growth across southern Bedfordshire cementing our position as a great location for innovation and opportunity and will create thousands of new jobs.

"The principle of promoting growth through an extension of Houghton Regis was first established ten years ago and this has informed our planning assumptions that this application has followed. There has been a lot of consultation with residents both on the principle and detail of this development and we have worked hard with the developers through the Environmental Statement and the Planning Agreement to ensure the best deal for those living nearest to the development and for the wider community."

In addition to the Section 106 agreement, the developers have produced a plan to take account of and manage the impacts of the development. At least 78 hectares of the 260 hectare site - 30 per cent- will be open space. In addition, the developers will have to agree to construction controls and the provision of necessary community facilities and infrastructure.

Councillor Young adds: "The developers have emphasised that they are also fully committed to working in partnership with the Council and local community to ensure that the development 'comes out of the ground' in the right way over its lifetime."

The application is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of this month. He will then have 28 days to decide how he wants to proceed.

The proposed North of Houghton Regis development stretches south to north from urban area of Houghton Regis up to the route of the A5-M1 Link Road and east to west from the M1 to the A5120 and Bidwell village.

HRN1 Outline Planning Permission Granted. Details of Planning Application - CB/12/03613/OUT

Find out more at (site not always available)
January 2013 - Over 900 Responses to 'Woodside Connection' Consultation For Houghton Regis Bypass
January 2013  - Green Field Sites Around Houghton Regis Set For 5150 Homes
August 2012 - Houghton Regis Northern Developments
15th April 2013 - Luton Borough Council's response to Central Bedfordshire Council‟s Pre-submission Development Strategy consultation January 2013 and matters relating to the Sustainable Urban Extension Houghton Regis North 1 (HRN1) planning application consultation
December 2014 - Luton Borough Council had challenged the decision by the Secretary of State to permit development, in the courts, but their challenge was dismissed by the judge in December 2014 who said, "It is most unfortunate that this project, which will deliver much needed development and nationally important infrastructure, has been delayed by a challenge lacking in legal merit."[Judgement]