Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Kingsland Site: A promise of Public Consultation Starting in January 2017

By Alan Winter

At last night's Town Partnership meeting, an update on the Kingsland* site was given by an officer from CBC. He  reported that currently the Council were exploring what outcomes they wanted from the scheme, what outcomes the Legacy project could deliver, and that it was still very early days as to what the final plans might look like.

The officer was at pains to stress that there would NOT be 12-15 storey blocks of apartments on the site, as had recently been depicted in a recent Guardian newspaper article. The Legacy project was hoping to deliver many schemes across the country, he said, and the scenes in the article were more representative of central city centre locations.

By about January 2017 there would be some public consultation on what local people would like to see happen at the site, he said. Following on from that, it might not be until the end of 2018 that any plans for a development might be unveiled, by which time Dunstable Leisure Centre's £20 million rebuild scheme should be completed, so there would not be two leisure centres closed in South Bedfordshire at the same time.

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Susan Goodchild highlighted the process Houghton Regis Central went through to develop a scheme that would be acceptable within Houghton Regis to go onto the former supermarket site in the High Street. Cllr Goodchild told the meeting of assembled Town and Central Bedfordshire Councillors, and representative officers from CBC, that she would hope for nothing less than this exemplary example of partnership working in the consultation process for the Kingsland site.

*The Kingsland site is situated in Parkside and includes academic, leisure, and private buildings. The site was used in 2015 for a cross country cycle race (see item).

Cyclo-cross happened on the Kingsland site, Houghton Regis in 2015. Organisers had hoped to use the site again.
More pictures ...

A campaign was run a few years ago to Save the Houghton Regis Leisure Centre, part of the Kingsland site, resulting in the Leisure Centre staying open, the swimming pool being refurbished, and footfall increasing under new management. (see this link).