Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Dog & Duck Car Park to get 12 One Bedroom Flats

Plans for a new development at the DOG & DUCK in Parkside Drive have been given the go ahead by Central Bedfordshire Council despite a Houghton Regis CBC councillor, David Jones, speaking against it, and despite 5 written objections.

The former Dog & Duck - the car park now has permission for twelve 1 bedroom homes
Dog and Duck before the present conversion
The applicant now has permission to construct 12 x 1 bedroom flats arranged in 3 blocks of 2 storeys with parking and all ancillary works on the site of the old pub's car park. The works can start within the next three years before a new application has to be applied for.


To view details, go to http://is.gd/cbcplanning enter 14/03488 in the search box, and follow the links.

Objections by Cllr A. Winter here.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Revised New Homes Application for 62 homes off Bedford Road, Houghton Regis

Red outline: Hunter Page Planning proposed development site
Blue outline: Taylor Wimpey proposed development site

A revised plan (a) to provide fewer homes, and leave more open space for a green route is to go before the town's Planning and Licensing Committee on Monday evening (5th January 2015). The applicant site is a paddock behind the old Red Lion public house on Bedford Road, Houghton Regis. The number of proposed homes is reduced from 65 to 62 and more land would be left as open space.

Representatives of Hunter Page Planning are expected to attend the meeting and tell the local councillors, who previously objected to an earlier proposal, that there are "very special circumstances" for why their scheme should go ahead. And they will say that if the scheme doesn't go ahead, the site could remain in private hands, "and become overgrown and unmanaged".

The applicant has taken advice from a barrister QC who has concluded that "the [Central Bedfordshire] Council would be wrong to insist on rejecting the application solely on the basis of the Site's Green Belt status in light of the Council's longstanding aspiration to remove the Site from the Green Belt." The QC goes on to point out that various attempts to adopt a formal local plan had failed to date, but even so,  the Council had shown aspiration to remove the applicant site from the Green Belt and to reallocate it to housing and green infrastructure.

The applicant will say on Monday that:
1. There is history of seeking to remove the applicant site area from the green belt.
2. The financial contribution of £45m from HRN1 area {boundary of HRN1 is Bedford Road, Calcutt Farm, and east towards the M1} towards the A5-M1 link means that affordable housing allocation has been reduced by 1,000 units, and therefore the applicant site providing 30% affordable housing will be a significant benefit.
3. The proposed housing and affordable housing will help achieve the OAN
4. More than half the applicant site will be left as open space, supporting the Houghton Regis Framework Plan that broadly indicates a green corridor in the applicant site.
5. The HRN2 site is heavily constrained by topology, ecology, flooding and sewage works, whereas the applicant site is free of those constraints and represents a sustainable form of development.
6. The Development Framework calls for an east-west green habitat link which would not be achieved if the site was left unmanaged.
7. Highway improvements associated with the application and the Taylor-Wimpey application would benefit local drivers, local home owners, and bring forward safety improvements.
8. Potential for a contribution to be made towards local wildlife habitats including Blue Waters woodland.
9. The site would be in walking distance of the urban area.
10. The finished site is and would be visually contained, and have a limited impact on the landscape.
11. By improving overlooking onto public open space, the development would help to cure a current local problem.


Planning decisions are ultimately made by Central Bedfordshire Council; the Houghton Regis Town Council makes comments on local plans.

To view full details, go to http://is.gd/cbcplanning enter 14/03047 in the search box, and follow the links.

HOW TO COMMENT

Public comments on the scheme can be made by contacting the case officer, Adam Davies, quoting the planning application number CB/14/03047/OUT, Tel: 0300 300 5191
or by email
or by post to Planning, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ .


Link to May 2014 article: Hunter Page Development Proposal at Bidwell, Houghton Regis 


​Posted by Alan D Winter. 
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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Harvest Home Car Park - Now It's Free Parking for 20 minutes - And No Parking Meter


Great Christmas Present for Hillborough Crescent shops and motorists visiting shops at Hillborough Crescent, Houghton Regis.

From today, 23rd Dec 2014, the Harvest Car Park is once again available for customers visiting the shops in Hillborough Crescent completely Free of Charge. 

Customers will be able to park in the available spaces for a maximum of 20 minutes with exception for clients who are visiting the Hairdressers (Lunatic Fringe) who will be given special permit as required.

There will be no Parking meter. Customers are strongly urged to observe the Terms and Conditions and not to abuse the free privileges, as there will still be penalty if the cars are left there for longer than necessary 

without valid reason or authority.

Kishor Patel said “I am pleased that the car parking facilities at Harvest Home have been re-instated for the customers who use the shops in Hillborough Crescent, it’s great to see local businesses working together to compete with supermarkets and out of town shops. I have traded in Hillborough Crescent for nearly 30 years and would like see the shops continue to thrive with the continued support from the local community”

Ray Dean Said: “Customers safety was paramount to me, hopefully this will lessen the congestion on the road, avoid any fatalities and avoid being penalised by the little yellow car with camera stuck on its head for parking on double yellows”

Brief History:

Harvest Home Car Parking has been used by the shoppers for over 30 years, but it go to the point where residents were leaving the cars overnight, cars being repaired, shop staff were parking the cars all day, which meant the car park was constantly blocked with long term cars been parked there. 

Since June 2014 Harvest Home brought in some restrictions and there was a parking meter installed, which was not an ideal solution for customers, Harvest or the shops. Kishor Patel and Ray Dean worked hard to come to a conclusion that worked for all.



posted by Alan Winter:
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Friday, 19 December 2014

Lots of Discussions on #WoodsideLink

An artist's impression for treatment of a retaining wall to face Sandringham Drive, Houghton Regis, is causing upset among Houghtonians.
Find updates on Woodside Link. Look for #Woodsidelink on Facebook, or Twitter.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23woodsidelink

Plans on the Woodside Link Scheme, as approved, are here: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/portal/searchresult.asp?appnumber=CB%2F14%2F04122

1. Follow discussion thread on here on 15 December 2014:
https://www.facebook.com/houghton.regis.news.desk/photos/a.398243747943.174062.290257647943/10152499774617944/?type=1&comment_id=10152506165767944&offset=0&total_comments=56&ref=notif&notif_t=photo_comment

2. Placed another discussion thread on here on 18 December 2014:
https://www.facebook.com/houghton.regis.news.desk/photos/a.398243747943.174062.290257647943/10152505778182944/


Discussion 1. Embeded here:



Discussion 2. Embedded here:


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Frogmore Rd man had more than 2,000 'sordid' images of children on his computer.

B-Innovative: Free Training for Entrepreneurs


Do you have an idea for a business with potential to grow and flourish?
Are you ambitious and innovative?
Not sure how to take your idea forward?
B-Innovative is the course for you!
Starting Tuesday January 20th 2015 for 8 weeks

To receive your information pack and application form, please email:
b-innovative@beds.ac.uk

The deadline for the applications is 7th January 2015 at 5pm and we will let you know if you have been successful by 9th January 2015 at 5pm. More details at http://www.beds.ac.uk/knowledgehub/entrepreneurship/basics

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Reading Mini-challenge #bedslibraries

Throughout the school holidays from 12th December 2014 to 6th January 2015, children are challenged to:
- borrow any three books you like from the library
(don't forget there are lots of suggestions for brilliant books on the Virtual Library website)
- hide away from the cold (and family) for a good read
- create or update your profile on the Summer Reading Challenge website
- when you've logged your third book, you’ll qualify for a virtual badge – and a secret video reward!

Watch this video of Cressida Cowell (author of How to Train Your Dragon) talking about the scheme.



There's more information for parents and carers on the Challenge Facebook page too.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Dunstable Woman in £115,000 Benefit Fraud

A woman who admitted illegally claiming almost £115,000 in benefits over a seven-year period has escaped a jail term.

Carina Gibbs, 41, of Chiltern Road, Dunstable, falsely claimed to be single, when she was in fact living with her partner.

Yesterday (11 December) she returned to the dock at Luton Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to three charges of benefit fraud at the same court on 28 October.

The mother of five was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, will have to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £250 towards the prosecution costs. She will also have to pay back all of the money which she has fraudulently claimed.

Gibbs was charged following a joint investigation between the council’s Revenues and Benefits team and the Department for Work and Pensions.

It revealed that despite claiming to be single, she had been living with her partner since 2 May 2006. During that period Gibbs claimed £114,882.80, which was made up of £91,960.74 of income support, £19,007.63 of housing benefit and £3,914.43 of council tax benefit.

The court was told that Gibbs is the sole carer to her children, and also heard that she was of previous good character, which were both taken into account during sentencing.

Anyone who suspects that someone may be claiming benefits illegally can call the council’s confidential 24-hour fraud hotline on 0300 300 5577.

Anyone who has any questions about their benefits, or to find out whether they are eligible to claim, should ring the money and benefits hotline on 0300 300 8306.

Reposted from CBC

Heaps of Praise For Bedfordshire Police For Information Handling

An independent body has heaped praise on Bedfordshire Police for the way it manages important information.

The force, which manages tens of thousands of pieces of information a year, is one of only two nationwide to receive the top ‘High Assurance’ rating from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following an audit of the way it processes personal data.

It scrutinised processes for managing paper and electronic records of everything from crime reports to statements and controls to monitor the creation, maintenance, storage, movement, retention and destruction of personal data.

The audit also examined procedures for dealing with requests from the public to access their personal data and controls to ensure the sharing of personal data complies with the Data Protection Act.

The ICO was set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

The audit report says: “The purpose of the audit is to provide an independent assurance of the extent to which Bedfordshire Police, within the scope of this agreed audit, is complying with the Data Protection Act. There is a high level of assurance that processes and procedures are in place and are delivering data protection compliance.”

Chief Information Officer Andy Gilks said: “Bedfordshire Police is delighted to receive such an excellent report, since it reflects our efforts to be a high performing, efficiently run police service which is dedicated to protecting people and fighting crime.”
 
reposted from Beds Police by
Alan D Winter
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Free Flu Protection For Young Children Will Protect Everyone Else


Parents of children aged two to four in Central Bedfordshire are urged to ensure that their little ones are protected against flu this winter with a free nasal spray vaccine.

Last year there were more than 1,500 hospital admissions related to flu in Bedfordshire, and as many as 278 people across the county died from flu-related illness.

With young children considered ‘super spreaders’, as they come into contact with so many people – from nursery to their grandparents – parents are urged to get them vaccinated, with a free nasal vaccine spray available for all two to four year-olds.

Other groups of people, including pregnant women, pensioners and those with long-term health issues such as diabetes, heart disease or chronic respiratory conditions are also urged to get their free flu vaccination.

Pregnancy weakens the immune system and contracting flu during this period can affect the growth of the foetus and lead to a preterm or still birth. Receiving the flu vaccine during pregnancy will also protect the baby in the first few months after birth.

Bedfordshire GP Dr Fran Ross said: “By ensuring young children have received a flu vaccine, parents aren’t just protecting their children; they are also protecting older relatives. This is especially important as we approach the festive season when families gather together to celebrate.

“The vaccine has been thoroughly tested and is safe and effective. Side effects are rare and minor compared to the risks associated with flu.” 

Cllr Carole Hegley, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing, said: “Flu can be very uncomfortable for children and can even lead to a stay in hospital. If they are unable to go to nursery, this could mean parents having to take time off work to nurse them.
“With Christmas around the corner, it is in the best interest of the whole family to make sure that every eligible person receives their free vaccine so that this preventable illness does not interfere with what should be a joyful time for everyone.”

At-risk groups should have a vaccination every winter as the virus is constantly changing. If you are unsure whether you qualify for a free vaccination, contact your GP. For more information on protecting yourself against flu visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/flu-jab 



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Woodside Link Applications

Woodside Link
Some Applications are now in for the construction of the Woodside Link, being promoted by Central Bedfordshire Council. The plans can be viewed online. The Town Clerk is inviting members of the public to call in on Dec 16th to see them in the town council offices, and make comment. 
2014/04616/Full New three-way roundabout on Woodside Link route with associated footpaths, cycle ways, pedestrian and cycle crossing, drainage, lighting and landscaping.
2014/04617/Full New four way dual carriageway signalized junction  
2014/04623/Full New four way roundabout with associated footpaths, cycle 
2014/04621/Full New left in / out junction southbound carriage way, vehicular 

ACTION FRAUD - NEW APPS & NEW MOBILES CAN BRING NEW VIRUS

Careful what you buy for Christmas!


Friday, 5 December 2014

Parents of Young Children Are Urged to get a Nasal Flu Vaccine


Parents of children aged two to four in Central Bedfordshire are urged to ensure that their little ones are protected against flu this winter with a free nasal spray vaccine.

Last year there were more than 1,500 hospital admissions related to flu in Bedfordshire, and as many as 278 people across the county died from flu-related illness.

With young children considered ‘super spreaders’, as they come into contact with so many people – from nursery to their grandparents – parents are urged to get them vaccinated, with a free nasal vaccine spray available for all two to four year-olds.

Other groups of people, including pregnant women, pensioners and those with long-term health issues such as diabetes, heart disease or chronic respiratory conditions are also urged to get their free flu vaccination.

Pregnancy weakens the immune system and contracting flu during this period can affect the growth of the foetus and lead to a preterm or still birth. Receiving the flu vaccine during pregnancy will also protect the baby in the first few months after birth.

Bedfordshire GP Dr Fran Ross said: “By ensuring young children have received a flu vaccine, parents aren’t just protecting their children; they are also protecting older relatives. This is especially important as we approach the festive season when families gather together to celebrate.

“The vaccine has been thoroughly tested and is safe and effective. Side effects are rare and minor compared to the risks associated with flu.”

Cllr Carole Hegley, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing, said: “Flu can be very uncomfortable for children and can even lead to a stay in hospital. If they are unable to go to nursery, this could mean parents having to take time off work to nurse them.

“With Christmas around the corner, it is in the best interest of the whole family to make sure that every eligible person receives their free vaccine so that this preventable illness does not interfere with what should be a joyful time for everyone.”

At-risk groups should have a vaccination every winter as the virus is constantly changing. If you are unsure whether you qualify for a free vaccination, contact your GP. For more information on protecting yourself against flu visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/flu-jab