New Blot on The Landscape

Where once drivers had a distant view of the Houghton Regis Chalk Pit as they commuted south on the old A5 towards Dunstable, they are now  facing the grim grey shed of a huge warehousing structure.

Photos: ©A D Winter 2018.

When the shed is completed, the obstructed glimpse of the chalk cliffs, above, will be gone forever.

Local people have commented on our Facebook Page about the disappearing view.

Nicky Chandler, "the new building is going to be an eye sore on that corner, from what was a lovely view :("
Nettie Forsyth, "it was a lovely view... My lovely view on the way to work has been completely destroyed... All that countryside gone 😕"
Fiona Bowe Monagle, "What’s the huge monstrous building going up by the waste site? What an absolute eyesore that is!"
Andrea Tompkins, "awful warehouse ...  How has that ugly got a permit?"

The planning application, CB/15/04918 for the construction was submitted in December 2015, as a speculative venture for the site owners, Central Bedfordshire Council. The plans included parking for 292 cars, and storage or distribution space of 61,336m² on a site area of 13.23 hectares, as well as some office accomodation. The site forms part of the Houghton Regis North Framework Plan. The building is one of two (the one pictured to be 25,800m², the other 35,556m²) that will eventually line the southern side of Thorn Road.

A new access road has already been constructed between the two buildings and gives access to a new household waste recycling centre. The new unit will be classified as B2/B8, general industrial /storage.

According to the Design and Access Statement, "The minimum landscape depth to the eastern boundary will be 10m to ensure adequate screening to the development beyond. The existing hedgerows and trees that form the field boundaries were planned to be retained where possible and enhanced with further planting." The new building is set at a lower level than a large proportion of Watling Street.

A similar view, taken in 2012, pre-development of the Waste and Employment sites.

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