Saturday, 28 February 2015

Demolition Starts on Former Co-op Store #hrcoopbuild


Work has begun to remove the co-op building in Houghton Regis.

Central Bedfordshire Council are in the very early stages of planning for what comes next on their site. The total site covers the store footprint, the car park, the recycling bins, and Red House Court on about 4 hectares. It is thought the scheme may eventually include up to 170 accommodations for extra-care housing, retail units, heritage, and social facilities. 

The Council are currently having 83 accommodations built at Priory View, Church Street, Dunstable, on a 2 hectare site.

Nearby residents are not unduly concerned by the potential of being overlooked by new buildings, but have told HRND that they will look forward to (hopefully) the removal of adjacent sycamore trees and their self-seeding spores. 

More details and information about the scheme is not expected until June 2015.

Previous Co-op Houghton Regis News.

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Cycle Path Appears on Village Green


New path has appeared from Drury Lane leading towards the crossing at East End. Photo: A. Winter
A new tarmac path has today been installed from Drury Lane leading to the crossing at The Green. The path crosses land which is part of the Village Green, which the Houghton Regis Town Council are entrusted to look after.

Local resident, Hazel Keane, wrote on Facebook yesterday, "Well I could not believe my eyes when I walked past Drury Lane today. Who the devil has given authorisation for a non essential path to be put across our protected green."

Meanwhile, a notice on roadworks.org suggested that the work might be something to do with other travel related works that have been going on in the town. These have included:

  • a two way route on a one way road for cyclists in Easthill (something that was approved, but has not been implemented), 
  • pathway widening along Houghton Road to better facilitate the movement of students walking and travelling by cycle to All Saints school. 
  • a new crossing on Sundon Road,  
  • the re-making of pathways behind Hammersmith Close and through Bromley Gardens.


A roadworks notice appeared online suggesting that the works might be for a cyclepath

Local resident Deborah Hamill, said today, "There are people who passionately care about the grassed areas of the village green. We already have a path through to the crossing, why can't people use that. There is no need for another one."

Cllr Alan Winter asked the deputy Town Clerk, today, about the new path on the Village Green, but the clerk was unable to confirm that the Town Council were consulted.

Workmen add top surface. Photo: A. Winter
As workmen were laying down a top surface for the path, a message appeared on Facebook from the Town Council, saying, " Let it be known that the Town Council was not consulted regarding the installation of a path/cycle way on the corner of the Village Green. Officers are currently investigating the matter. Further updates will be provided.."



Update 14:45
HRND learnt from Travel Choices that this is "an approved Travel Choices scheme". Travel Choices is a three year project funded through the Government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LTSF) to support the economy of Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard by providing residents and businesses with an improved choice for local journeys reducing car use, cutting costs and improving health. Find out more from their website.

Update 18 March 2015
A report will go before HRTC Environment Committee on 25th March that will say that the land where the path has been put was compulsorily purchased by Bedfordshire County Council, as agreed at a Town Council meeting in June 1990. Finally in July 1992 the specific strip of land for this pathway was transferred to Beds County Council for the purposes of creating footpaths as part of Land Registry Title number BD171926.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Your Questions Answered About the #WoodsideLink

Parkside Drive: Old Buslink  will be rebuilt and will connect to the new road

Central Bedfordshire Council have been looking at questions asked about the Woodside Connection and posted this information.

Who will oversee the scheme to make sure it is constructed properly?

Central Bedfordshire Council will make sure that the contractor (when appointed) and any project partners construct every aspect of the Woodside Link to the necessary standards (as detailed in the Requirements of the Development Consent Order – for full details visit our Planning Documents web page and enter the code CB/14/04122/DCO).

Will vehicle access be maintained to Wheatfield Road during construction, from the Porz Ave / Park Road North / Poynters Road roundabout?

Yes, full vehicle access will be maintained until the new traffic signal junction for Wheatfield Road / Woodside Link is open to traffic.

Will pedestrian access from Sandringham Drive to Wheatfield Road be maintained across the site during construction?

Yes, there will be a safe pedestrian access route across the site.

Will there be a traffic management plan covering the construction period showing anticipated road or lane closures, etc?

A traffic management plan will be in place. Regular updates are to be posted on this web page and via Central Bedfordshire Council’s Let’s Talk Central accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

What will be installed beside Parkside Drive where it connects with the Woodside Link?

As much existing hedge as possible will be retained, and a lost section to the south-east will be replanted until it merges with the planting on the embankment. Temporary fencing will be installed until this hedge is established. An amenity grass area will be created alongside existing vegetation. These design details will be fully included on the next version of the drawings, to be uploaded to the Planning Documents web page in due course.

Where can I find out about the location of footways and pedestrian crossings?

Please see Detailed Design and Implementation – Part 1 and Detailed Design and Implementation – Part 2.

What will be the width of pathways / cycleways on Parkside Drive?

The new footway/cycleway to the north side of Parkside Drive will be 3.0m wide.

What about post-construction access to Wheatfield Road?

When the scheme is completed access to Wheatfield Road will be via a traffic signal junction off Woodside Link, and the existing access off Poynters Road roundabout will be permanently closed. There will be road markings to facilitate turning into Wheatfield Road.

Where can I find out about landscape design?

See Detailed Design and Implementation – Part 6 and Detailed Design and Implementation – Part 7.

Will housing be built on land off Parkside Drive?

There are no current plans to build any housing on land off Parkside Drive.

Source: Central Bedfordshire Council

Development Consent Order Schedule 3 (this version is easy to search http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2637/pdfs/uksi_20142637_en.pdf)

Your Comments Could See Off Planning Applications At Bedford Road





A Senior Planning Casework Manager for the Government has said he is taking representations from the public on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Despite representations from local councillors and the Town Clerk, Central Bedfordshire Council earlier this month gave the go ahead for a full planning application for 169 new homes on a Bedford Road meadow, and outline planning permission for 62 dwellings on land behind the old Red Lion (See story).

When asked if the public could make representations, the caseworker replied:
"Central Bedfordshire Council has referred two applications to the Secretary of State under the terms of consultation arrangements that apply because the sites are both within the Green Belt. The applications are for development on land at Bedford Road (CB/14/03056/FULL) and land to the rear of The Old Red Lion (CB/14/03047/OUT).

The Secretary of State is not reviewing the merits of these proposals or the manner in which the council has handled the applications. Instead, a decision will be made on whether the Secretary of State should call in the applications for his own decision having regard to Government call in policy. In deciding this, the Secretary of State does not hold a consultation exercise because this has already been undertaken by the local planning authority. However, it is possible for an interested party to make representations to the Secretary of State while the case is before him. The council is prevented from granting permission for a period of up to 21 days ending on 9 March. You should therefore submit any comments to me at this email address at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely
Dave Moseley
Senior Planning Casework Manager
Dave.Moseley@communities.gsi.gov.uk"

Saturday, 21 February 2015

53 New Homes Proposed for Former Windy Willows Nursery Site‪ #‎WindyWillowshomes



The old Windy Willows site on Sundon Rd, Houghton Regis, could be redeveloped for up to 53 new homes. 

These would border the grounds of Houghton Regis Academy. The total site is about 1.6ha and would provide 53 new homes on 1.1ha. Because of pylons, part of the site cannot be built on and will be retained as a green infrastructure corridor. 

Three flatted blocks are proposed to the north and middle of the site with seven town houses at the southern end. The flat blocks would have a ground floor, and 1st and 2nd floors. Footway and cycle links would provide direct links into the main HRN1 site. 


For more details search CB/15/00524 on http://is.gd/cbcplanning

Thursday, 19 February 2015

CBC has failed in its Duty to Cooperate with other LA's when formulating its Development Strategy

Central Bedfordshire Council has reacted with dismay to the Planning Inspector’s conclusions on its Development Strategy and will consider a proposal to challenge the process in court.

The Development Strategy, which is the planning document that governs where and how future housing and businesses should be developed in the area, was recently examined by the Inspector during a two-day hearing.

The Council has been instructed to publish the Inspector’s findings which conclude that  Central Bedfordshire has not co-operated sufficiently with other local authorities in developing the strategy.

One specific example of this is the Council’s co-operation with Luton Borough Council on housing.

Luton has long argued that Central Bedfordshire should support the building of more housing to meet the needs of its residents. In response Central Bedfordshire Council has already increased its original housing target to meet the need for homes in the wider area, including some 5,400 homes to meet Luton’s requirements. It has not, however, accepted that it should be expected to accommodate all of Luton’s needs which could equate to a further 6,000 homes

Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Regeneration at the Council, Nigel Young, suggests that the Strategy, which allows for the development of some 31,000 new homes and 27,000 new jobs between now and 2031, offers a positive approach.

“We are not an authority that wishes to block growth or freeze our communities in aspic. But neither are we an authority that will accept the imposition of unsustainable development which could undermine the quality and character of our communities.

“I cannot and will not accept the Inspector’s conclusions that it is ‘inevitable’ for the area to meet all of Luton’s unmet need. We genuinely feel his findings are at best misguided, if not perverse, and next week I will be seeking the support of the full Council to call for a judicial review of the process."

In the decision letter the Inspector concludes,
"I fully appreciate that the Duty is not a duty to agree. However, even in that context, I do not consider that there is sufficient evidence that the various authorities have taken the necessary steps through the Duty process to secure the delivery of the homes and jobs needed by authorities such as LBC that are constrained in their ability to meet their own needs. I do not underestimate the challenge that achieving the necessary co-operation presents in this particular area. However, all reasonable steps must be shown to have been taken to secure that co-operation before it would be reasonable to conclude that the Duty had been complied with. As I have explained, I consider the co-operation between the Council and LBC in particular has fallen short of the required level.
84. Having come to that conclusion, under s20(7)(A) of the 2004 Act I must recommend non-adoption of the Plan. There are two options now open to the Council. First, the Council could chose to receive my report. In substance, that would be the same as this letter and must reach the same conclusion. Second, the Council could chose to withdraw the Plan under s22 of the 2004 Act. That would seem to me to be the most appropriate course of action but that is clearly a matter that you will wish to consider.

You can read the decision letter of the Inspector here. in full.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Discover the Benefits of Volunteering




Central Bedfordshire residents are being encouraged to give up a few hours of their time each week to help others.

There are many different ways that people of all ages and backgrounds can take up volunteering, and now residents are being urged to do just that.

From looking out for elderly and vulnerable residents as a Nominated Neighbour; patrolling the streets as part of the Street Watch scheme to volunteering as a Street Pastor to help those enjoying a night out on the town, there are many different ways to give something back to your community.

Now Central Bedfordshire’s Community Safety Partnership is launching a campaign to encourage people to think about volunteering.

As well as helping other people, volunteering has benefits for those who give up their time, including forming new friendships, increasing feelings of self-esteem and well-being and gaining an insight into the voluntary sector.

Shaida Younis has been volunteering for Victim Support for the past two years, and spends between six and eight hours a week working for the charity, which helps victims of crime. She said: “It can be enormously rewarding when I help make a difference to someone’s life – it gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction.”

Working to make our communities safer are the 222 volunteer police officers, or special constables who currently give up a minimum of 16 hours a month to help police Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire Police says it has a ‘one police force ethos’, with its special constables integrated into the force and working closely with regular officers. And it hopes this will help to boost the numbers to 500 by April 2016.

T/Special Chief Officer Wayne Humberstone, who has been a volunteer police officer with Bedfordshire for over 20 years, said:  “I am incredibly proud to lead such a dedicated team and I am confident that together, as the special constabulary establishment continues to increase, our opportunities to demonstrate the value we bring to the communities of Bedfordshire will grow”.

Special constables have the chance to develop their skills into specialisms such as roads policing, forensics and police dogs, and last year 51 specials moved on to join Bedfordshire and other police forces as regular officers.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, added: “If you didn’t make a new year’s resolution, then why not do something now and think about volunteering? There are so many different things you can do and ways you can help fellow residents and your community.

“You don’t have to give up huge amounts of your time, because even volunteering for a few hours each week can make a really big difference. And you may surprise yourself and find that you get back as much as you put in.”

Find out more about volunteering opportunities in Central Bedfordshire

New Plan for Buses - From April 13th : A, Z, 38, and a 38D

Central Bedfordshire Council have announced their plans following the Arriva's announcements earlier this month. 

A spokesperson for the Council said, "We have drawn up plans for an alternative service, and held a tender exercise following a decision by Arriva to withdraw the existing 38 service. I am now pleased to advise the results of the tender for a new bus service.

"Arriva will be operating a new 38 and 38D service between Dunstable and Houghton Regis (Parkside). These routes will provide a half hourly service for a significant part of the day, Mondays to Fridays; hourly at other times. The new 38 will also serve the Salters Way area, providing a much better service for that part of town.

"Funding for these routes will come from new developments in Houghton Road and High Street North.


From 13th April 2015

Timetables: Excel file download


In Houghton Regis, buses on 38 will operate from Morrisons to The Chequers, then across to Parkside Drive (pass Hammersmith Gardens) to UTC then via Tithe Farm Road back to Morrisons (i.e. a one way loop)


Buses on 38D will do the same but in Parkside also serve the old Dog & Duck. (D = serves Dog & Duck, and Direct between Houghton Regis and Dunstable not serving Salters Way).

38/38A/38D/39

Existing Arriva services 38, 38A and 39 will be withdrawn in their current format. New Routes 38 and 38D will operate between Dunstable and Houghton Regis. Route 38 will also serve the French’s Avenue area of Dunstable.


New Route 38 will operate as follows: The Square, High Street South, High Street North, French's Avenue, Suncote Avenue, Sunbower Avenue, Salters Way, French's Avenue, High Street North, Houghton Road, High Street, The Green, East End, Parkside Drive, UTC, Sundon Road, Hillborough Crescent, Tithe Farm Road, High Street, Houghton Road, High Street North, French's Avenue, Suncote Avenue, Sunbower Avenue, Salters Way, French's Avenue, [The buses operate anticlockwise in this estate] High Street North, High Street South, The Square. 


New Route 38D will operate as follows: The Square, High Street South, High Street North, Houghton Road, High Street, The Green, East End, Parkside Drive, Dog & Duck, Parkside Drive, UTC, Sundon Road, Hillborough Crescent, Tithe Farm Road, High Street, Houghton Road, High Street North, High Street South, The Square. 

Routes 38 and 38D will operate Mondays to Saturdays (not evenings). For much of the day on Mondays to Fridays they will provide a combined half hourly service. At other times it will be hourly. Busway Route A will also operate between Houghton Regis and Dunstable. New Busway Route Z will operate between Houghton Regis and Luton. 

Busway A/Z

Changes have been made to the timetable for Busway Route A.  Buses on this route, coming from Luton Airport, Luton and Dunstable  will continue as  new Route Z from Parkside (Dog & Duck), via Lewsey Farm, L & D Hospital, Busway, Luton (Galaxy Centre), Luton Interchange.  Similarly buses on new Busway route Z from Luton Interchange, Luton Galaxy Centre, L&D Hospital, Lewsey Farm to Parkside (Dog & Duck) will continue as Busway route A to Dunstable, Luton and Luton Airport. 


Passengers do not have to change vehicle at Parkside (Dog & Duck). There will be through fares.

More changes can be found  http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/travelling/public-transport/

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Concern Over "Clearance Mess" for #WoodsideLink Road




The annoyed resident that let off their fury on a Facebook page over the clearance, wrote, "Clearance?!!! Its just been ripped apart. Looks like a sawmill exploded in a ploughed field. This is not a careful clearance process. Its been randomly torn apart. A MESS IS THE LEAST WE CAN SAY. I can think of a lot worse."

Town Councillor for Parkside, Cllr Alan Winter said today, "Months ago I  suggested to Central Bedfordshire Council that they set up their own Facebook Page for the Woodside Link so that they can properly communicate to residents what is happening and why. When there is something happening on their doorsteps people are naturally very curious and want good and responsible communication channels. All I've seen from them so far are propaganda twitterings telling people that travel times will improve."

"Whoever has ripped up the wildlife habitat by the buslink has made a right old mess, has had no thought for small birds or reptiles. Well laid plans for doing the job responsibly seem to have been only aspirational. Very disappointed, CBC."

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Videos from Whipsnade Zoo

Linkk to Whipsnade Zoo Web Site.

Below are videos posted to Whipsnade Zoo's Facebook Page. Log in to Facebook to view.


Meet Oscar the Baby Californian Sea Lion


Sea lion pup makes a splash!
Say hello to little Oscar, a tiny Californian sea lion pup who's been making quite a splash at the zoo since his birth!http://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/news/sea-lion-pup-makes-a-splash
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday, 30 June 2015



Lambs


Newborn lambs bring Spring to Hullabazoo Farm
Spring has well and truly arrived at our Hullabazoo Farm with the birth of these adorable little lambs just in time for Easter.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Wednesday, 1 April 2015



Camels



Frozen fans will be delighted to learn that we have a new baby Bactrian camel called Olaf.Not only that, he has a fluffy friend who was born in the same week: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/news/camel-companion-for-olaf
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Thursday, 9 April 2015



Baby Elephant Sam


Baby elephant Sam explores the downs
Find out how baby Sam has been getting on with joining the herd on their walk around the zoo and watch him playing in the downs with his mum.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Monday, 13 April 2015



Lemur Babies


Adorable lemur babies!
Stand by for your Tuesday dose of cuteness! We have had four adorable baby ring-tailed lemurs born at In with the Lemurs, and we think you're going to love them.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday, 28 April 2015



Squirrel Monkeys


Squirrel monkeys return to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Look who's back! Squirrel monkeys have returned to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and these five cheeky chaps are loving their new home.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Saturday, 2 May 2015



Butterfly House


New Butterfly House opens at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Have you visited our amazing new Butterfly House yet? Featuring over 30 different species from around the world, find out how you can get up close to some of natures most beautiful creatures.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Thursday, 28 May 2015



Elephants



With Mother's Day arriving this Sunday, Keeper Katie shows us why mothering elephants is hard work - especially during bath time! www.zsl.org/blogs/elephantastic/bath-timeDon't forget that you can also treat your Mum with a visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (or even an amazing animal experience!): http://www.zsl.org/shop
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Friday, 13 March 2015



Rockhoppers



We've welcomed seven rockhopper penguins to their new home in Bedfordshire, by throwing them a house warming party with a difference!Read more: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/news/hop-hop-hurray-say-hello-to-our-new-rockhopper-penguins
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Wednesday, 11 February 2015



Hippo



Here is the first footage of our adorable pygmy hippo calf. It's the cutest thing you'll watch today!Find out more: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/news/boxing-day-baby
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Thursday, 15 January 2015



Chimps



Watch the cheeky chimps help out at our annual animal stocktake and find out how our keepers got on counting the zoo's residents of all shapes and sizes.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Thursday, 8 January 2015



Giraffes


Baby giraffe frolics in the sand yard
Here's an EXCLUSIVE video for all you Whipsnade Facebook fans!Jengo, the newest addition to our giraffe herd, enjoys a frolic outside.Now who hasn't paid him a visit yet?
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Thursday, 6 December 2012



Visitor Center



Our brand new Vistor Centre has opened just in time for the Easter holidays. Here is a sneaky peak at what will be greeting you on your next visit.
Posted by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Saturday, 28 March 2015

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Central Beds Council Give Go Ahead to Build on Houghton Regis Green Belt

by Alan Winter

Two applications were given the go ahead by Central Bedfordshire Development Management Committee today. Up to 231 homes could now be built on the land, currently vacant.

The full application by Taylor Wimpey will see the meadow between Churchfield Road and Bedford Road developed for up to 169 new homes including 30% affordable housing, on a 6.4ha site with open space footpath and roads. 

The other site is on the north of Plaiters Way, west of the old Red Lion public house, and that now has outline planning permission for up to 62 dwellings on a 3.2ha site with up to 1.6ha of that reserved for informal open space.

Both applications were recommended by officers for approval and were considered by Central Bedfordshire Councillors.


Taylor Wimpey Application

Meadow west of Churchfield Rd, Houghton Regis

Clare Evans, the Houghton Regis Town Clerk, spoke on behalf of the Houghton Regis Town Council, emphasising the Town Council's objections to the Taylor Wimpey application. Mrs Evans said the application was an infill development site that needed to be considered in relation to the Houghton Regis (North) Framework Plan; she highlighted concerns about congestion on Bedford Road; cited that the plans showed more than one access onto Bedford Road that could jeopardise safety; complained that 40% of the proposed houses were for 4 bedroom homes that would not meet the housing needs of the local community.

Mrs Evans also read a prepared statement from the Bidwell Farm community who were concerned that the application was an infill development, would create additional traffic problems, and that natural drainage arrangements in the area would be compromised by tarmac.

Mr Kelly, speaking on behalf of Luton Borough Council, said his Council wanted 50% affordable housing; that the development was inappropriate in a green belt area, and that the application was premature as the Green Belt designation was still applicable. When questioned by Cllr Nigel Young, Mr Kelly said there was no National Planning Policy requiring a neighbouring council to designate 50% affordable housing.

A spokesman for DLP, speaking for the developers, said that Luton Borough Council had not made a written objection to their scheme, despite asking for one. He said that the 169 new homes would form part of the Houghton Regis Site 1 allocation. He said the site was sustainable and that there were very special circumstances for permitting development as the A5-M1 link was being built and it was strongly held by Planning officers that the Green Belt would be rolled back to that road.

CBC Ward Councillor, David Jones, appealed to the committee to support the town of Houghton Regis, and urged rejection, or delay of the application. He argued that the 2012 Framework Plan set a limit for housing which was clearly going to be broken, as 7,000 homes had been agreed but this development, and others in the pipeline, were additional schemes. He argued that safeguards had been promised for the village of Bidwell, and that green corridors had been agreed, and that councillors had to take into account the cumulative impact. He pressed for refusal or delay of this application until site allocation for HRN1 had been agreed.

The Highways officer said that the junctions of Thorn Road/Bedford Road, and Bedford Road/High Street operated at over capacity, with marginal queuing. With 10,000 vehicles a day already using Bedford Rd, Highways had no objections to the scheme as the new level of traffic movements would be "imperceptible".

Tithe Farm Councillor, Peter Williams, said he agreed with what Cllr Jones had said. In his view the Taylor Wimpey site was not included in the Framework Plan, and the application should be refused as it is an urban infill on green belt land. The application relied on an assumption that the green belt would be rolled back.

Toddington Councillor, Tom Nicols, said he was uncomfortable with the application. He was not satisfied that it met the Framework Plan. He complained about the design for the scheme, saying it was lacklustre. Growth areas were, he argued, designed to raise an area, and this plan was designed to mimic Tithe Farm, which he did not want. He suspected that it was so poor because the Council had "sucked out all the cash for section 106 agreements."

The planning officer told the meeting that the Framework Plan was not a masterplan, but rather an aspirational plan. He said the scheme would be subject to a section 278 agreement for road works that would include traffic calming measures for Bedford Road, a new footpath on the western side, as well as new pedestrian crossings.

Members of the committee voted (Note: there are no Houghton Regis councillors on the committee) 9 were in favour, 2 against, and 2 abstentions. The Development Infrastructure Group Manager is now authorised to grant planning permission subject to the prior consultation of the Secretary of State, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009, and satisfactory completion of a Section 106 Agreement and subject to conditions.


Outline Plan for Land behind old Red Lion

Meadow west of old Red Lion public House, Bedford Rd, Bidwell.
Following a break for lunch, the outline application for up to 62 homes on a 3.2ha site with 1.6ha of public open space for Beechcroft Land Limited, behind the old Red Lion public house was considered. 

Copies of the Framework Plan were distributed. These showed a wide green arrow across the area approximating to the applicant's site. The arguments put forward by councillors were similar to the previous application.  The planning officer repeated that the framework plan was just aspirational.

"Aspirational" Framework Plan. Source: CBC


Cllr Nicols expressed concerns that the Council had produced a plan, based on consultations, then told people "this is what we're going to do", and then "we turn around and actually do something different." In his view the application diverged from the Framework Plan, and he asked that his view be noted in the Council's submission to the Secretary of State, as he had requested in the Taylor Wimpey application.  

Cranfield & Marston Moretaine Councillor, Mrs Sue Clark, also expressed concerns over what it was they were supposed to be judging a scheme against. In her view, the Council had to do more to produce precise masterplans. Cllr Nigel Young concurred.

Members of the committee voted. 7 were in favour, 2 against, and 3 abstentions. The Development Infrastructure Group Manager is now authorised to grant Planning Permission subject to the prior consultation of the Secretary of State, in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009, the completion of a prior Section 106 Agreement and subject to conditions.

Committe Agenda: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/modgov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=631&MId=4654&Ver=4

Alan D Winter: My own view of these decisions

YOUR COMMENTS


Monday, 9 February 2015

Planning Meeting Will Decide Fate of Land At Bedford Road, Houghton Regis

These applications are due to be decided on 11th February 2015.

Planning Application No. CB/14/03056/FULL




Address : Land at Bedford Road, Houghton Regis
Description: Comprehensive development providing 169 residential units (including affordable housing) with associated infrastructure including car parking, drainage, pumping station, hard and soft landscaping, footway/cycleways, children’s play space and informal public open space.
Applicant : Taylor Wimpey


Planning Application No. CB/14/03047/OUT




Address : Land to the Rear of the Old Red Lion, Bedford Road, Houghton Regis
Description: Development of up to 62 dwellings, access, public open space and other associated works on land to the rear of the Red Lion Public House, to the west of the Bedford Road, Houghton Regis.
Applicant : Beechcroft Land Limited


Agenda documents: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/modgov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=631&MId=4654&Ver=4

Other Notable Applications

An application is in to CBC to demolish the Co-op building in High Street, Houghton Regis. http://is.gd/cbcplanning reference CB/15/00155/DEM

 An application is in to demolish the old Netto store in Cemetery Rd, and replace with a petrol filling station. http://is.gd/cbcplanning reference CB/14/01934/FULL  - This will be determined by CBC by the end of April.    If the planning officer's recommendation is for approval the application will go before the Development Management Committee, if the recommendation is for refusal it will be dealt with under delegated powers.


MEMBERS OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS
MEETING
Central Bedfordshire Council, Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford
DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 10.00 a.m.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

4D Cinema Opens In Milton Keynes


The UK's first 4DX cinema has opened in Milton Keynes.
Chairs rock, water gets squirted, but is it just a fad and will it last?