Following last night's demonstration at the offices of Houghton Regis Town Council, Central Bedfordshire Council have issued the following statement,
"We want to clarify the latest position on the regeneration plans for the Kingsland site following the protest at the Houghton Regis Town Council meeting last night."
"We want to reassure the local community that there have been no decisions, deals or secret meetings. "
"Central Bedfordshire Council started discussions with Legacy about the potential redevelopment of the Kingsland site. Although discussions are continuing with Legacy no decisions have been made. We are continuing to explore regeneration options for both the Kingsland site and other areas of Houghton Regis. We are particularly keen to ensure there is a quality education offer for the area and affordable housing for local residents. We are still working with Legacy on this. "
"To help us with this we’ve recently attracted significant funding from central government to explore opportunities for regeneration of existing housing estates across Central Bedfordshire including Parkside and Tithe Farm in Houghton Regis. "
"With this broader regeneration and development in mind we are looking at Kingsland in the context of the whole area. This is obviously complex and will take some time to develop plans, consult with the community and come to fruition. We realise the slow progress is frustrating, but it is important that we do this right."
"It has always been our commitment to involve the local community as soon as we have some proposals to discuss. "
"Specifically we understand that the protest group have concerns about the impact any development may have on the wildlife on the shrub land. We are more than open to listening to people’s concerns and we take ecological concerns seriously. At a point when there is a proposal we would of course ensure that appropriate environmental impact studies are undertaken by independent specialists. We will share the findings and discuss any issues with the local community. If there is a need to consider any protected species then we will do so."
"The meeting between Central Bedfordshire Council and Houghton Regis Town Council on Monday evening was a regular meeting we have with the Town Council to update and discuss regeneration. The discussion on Monday was about how the two councils can work together to engage residents in improving the areas they live in and to use the government funding we have secured to improve Houghton Regis. "
"If anyone has questions or concerns about development issues in Houghton Regis or elsewhere in our patch, please contact us at Place@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk "
Group Manager Business and Investment
Regeneration and Business Directorate
Central Bedfordshire Council Central Bedfordshire Council, Monks Walk, Priory House, Chicksands, Shefford, Beds SG17 5TQ
Direct Dial: 0300 300 5858 | Internal: 75858 |