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 http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/eastern/woodside-link-houghton-regis-bedfordshire/?ipcsection=docs).
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.