Development Plans

Houghton Regis is set to expand over the next 20 years to more than double the size of its population.

Area development map

A5-M1 northern bypass

The A5-M1 northern bypass is due to complete in the summer of 2017. It had a £45m contribution from 'HRN1 developers'. This scheme is promoted by Highways England. The new road will connect the A5 to the M1 motorway, running just north of Thorn Road, to a point south of Chalton. On the route will be one connection point at Lords Hill / Bedford Road. The Green Belt is widely expected to be rolled back from the edges of the current Houghton Regis built up area to the edge of this new road.
Scheme Highways England: A5-M1 Northern Bypass.

 In 1965, 2000 vehicles per peak hour travelled on the Icknield Way A505, and although 1959 saw the completion of the M1 motorway, the problem of heavy traffic through Dunstable was not alleviated. Beds County Planning Department mull over the problem in this interesting film and possible solutions.





Simulation Video:



Aerial video building the roundabout at Lord's Hill /Bedford Rd, by Anthony McGill:

or see this video on Facebook.

Woodside Link

Work officially started on 16th July 2015 by Transport Minister Andrew Jones, MP (link). Dubbed the "Woodside Link", this will connect the Porz Avenue / Poynters Road roundabout, to the new M1 Junction 11a, by running between Wheatfield Road, Luton, Sandringham Drive, Houghton Regis, and then north east across open fields to the new M1 junction.  This scheme is promoted by Central Bedfordshire Council. Completion is expected in December 2016.

Woodside Link Facebook Page for your questions on this.

HRN1

Houghton Regis Places Map

HRN1 is 262 hectares of  open fields being championed by a developers consortium (Lands Improvement Holdings, owned by BlackRock, Axa Real Estate and the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance). The land is to the north, north east, and east of Houghton Regis, bounded by the line of the A5-M1 link, in the north, the M1 motorway in the east, Lewsey Farm in the south, Bedford Road in Houghton Regis in the west. HRN1 scheme is for up to 5,150 new homes and associated infrastructure, schools, playing fields, shops, offices, warehouses.
Download HRN1 flyer.

HRN2

Houghton Regis Places Map

'HRN2' is a smaller development area, bounded by Houghton Regis Chalk Quarry in the south, the A5 in the west, the A5-M1 link in the north, and Bedford Road in Bidwell, Houghton Regis in the east. Up to 1,850 homes and associated works are envisaged here. There are additional pockets of land included within HRN1 or HRN2, that other developers would like to build on.

Development Strategy 

Developments are subject to a Development Strategy that has so far failed Government inspection. Central Bedfordshire Council wanted to appeal against the inspector's decision, but in June 2015 were refused permission. More about this Development Strategy can be read on the Central Bedfordshire Council website.

Dispute
There was a dispute between Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council over how many of the new homes to be built in Central Bedfordshire would be allocated to Luton.

LBC argued that CBC had failed in its duty to cooperate under the Localism Act and that the HRN1 scheme’s 10% affordable housing provision was too low. A High Court judge told LBC in December 2014 [see pdf document on this case ] [ same pdf document is available on CBC website, here ] that its opposition to HRN1 scheme in Houghton Regis was “wholly unarguable” and “lacking in legal merit”.

In April 2015 it was revealed in a FOI request that LBC "had blown £100k of taxpayers money" pursuing their case (see Luton News report). LBC challenged the scheme in the Court of Appeal, 6 May 2015, but their case was later dismissed, 20 May 2015 [see reasons, dismissal and case ] LBC did not pursue this in the Supreme Court.

Luton and Central Bedfordshire have agreed in principle that Luton would get access to 50% of any affordable housing which is brought forward in the urban extensions to the north of the town [ref.  Back-up copy]

On 21/Jun/2015 The Sunday Times reported that LBC "missed a deadline to appeal to the Supreme Court" [ref. ] [see A guide to bringing a case to The Supreme Court ].

6/10/2015 A new Development Strategy was proposed at CBC Executive meeting, refer to  Background Paper



Business

With all this development work going on, what are the opportunities for business? Central Beds Council have a dedicated website for that.


Next Page - The individual developments