Central Beds Housing Targets Questionnaire – Deadline 28th March

Update on previous post. MMAG attended one of the workshops and got the impression that the very clear and preferred direction of Central Beds Council thinking is:

  • High growth / likely new settlement
  • Cater for housing need from surrounding Counties – making us a magnet for developers

MMAG strongly encourages you complete the questionnaire which takes no more than 10 minutes Click Here for Link and ensure your views are heard at Central Beds – Deadline 28 March.

 Below is the the MMAG submission – feel free to use this as guidance or cut and paste as required: 

Q2 – Protect the natural environment / Protect greenbelt / Attractive, well designed places 

Q3 – A legacy of the soon to be defunct Regional Spatial Strategy is the designation of the ‘Northern Marston Vale’ as an area earmarked for housing & economic regeneration. Within the Marston Vale there are contradictory land uses proposed: waste disposal (landfill), potential incineration (Rookery Pit), recreation, tourism and housing growth. The Marston Vale should be primarily earmarked for environmental regeneration with an economy built on recreation and tourism (e.g. Centre Parks / Millennium Country Park etc.) and high end employment e.g. Cranfield University, Millbrook Proving Ground etc. The planning options are actually political choices about the nature of our communities in the future. CBC does not have any electoral mandate to contemplate housing growth on the scale suggested in the options paper.

Q4 – Low

Q5 Will not require more land / Will have less impact on the countryside / Our towns and villages do not need to grow / would place less strain on existing infrastructure

Q6 – A housing target that addresses migration will become self fulfilling if surrounding authorities do not reciprocate. If CBC is “open for business” & Bedford Borough, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire are closed then CBC will become a magnet for housing development. CBC’s job is to look after the housing needs of the existing community. It is not CBCs role to address the housing problems of elsewhere.

Q7 – Low

Q8 – No furthe land needed / Will have less impact on the countryside

Q9 – For a local authority to have a specific jobs growth target is absurd. Local authorities can only ensure, if affordable, that there are no infrastructure disincentives to economic growth. Local Authorities can only have a marginal effect on where jobs are located. These are decisions made by employers and dictates of market conditions. Is the jobs growth net new jobs or simply relocated jobs from elsewhere? Significant numbers of residents ‘out commute’ to London. Has CBC noticed that there is a Thameslink upgrade, leading to longer platforms and longer trains? Presumably the East-west Coast route and A421 will encourage further out commuting. The infrastructure in place and planned lends itself to out commuting.

Q10 – Vacant plot or redevelopment

Warning Q10 has been worded in such a way as to encourage people to tick “in a new town or village (such as Wixams) – thinking this means growth at Wixams. It does not – it means another new town…….

Q11 – Would not burden exisiting towns / Maintains the rural area / Is a more sustainable option / Would utilise brownfield sites / Would have less impact on the countryside

Q12 – Continue expanding our existing employment areas

Q13 – Would have less impact on the countryside

Q14 – Whether the land is brownfield or gereenfield / Impact on the landscape / Relatin to existing settlements

Q15 – No 

This is your community and your village. Take action now otherwise inaction will be taken by the Council as agreeing to excessive housing building targets.