Marston Moreteyne Action Group (MMAG) has submitted its objection to the application on the following grounds:
- The proposal will lead to the loss of agricultural land and diminish the UK capacity for food production. The loss of agricultural land will destroy natural habitats for wildlife.
- The semi-rural communities of Brogborough, Lidlington & Marston Moreteyne will become urban suburbs of a ‘new town’.
- Marston Valley will lead to coalescence of existing villages and when combined with proposals for development east of Milton Keynes and west of Bedford Borough will lead to urban sprawl along the A421 corridor.
In deciding this application CBC is judge in its own case for the Marston Valley proposal is already an integral part of the adopted Local Plan which has earmarked precisely this development. The public believe the process is stacked against them for the developer/applicant is conveniently proposing what the CBC Local Plan has asked for and which in turn seeks to fulfil the ambitions of the Cambridge to Oxford Arc. There is a democratic deficit in that neither the Arc, or the local plan have been subject to popular vote or election.
Marston Moreteyne is finalising its own neighbourhood plan which does not envisage development on such a scale.
The application does not adequately explain how existing communities are to be integrated into the community facilities associated with Marston Valley – schools, recreation and health. Neither does the application outline how existing communities, settlements, ends of villages & satellite singular dwellings be sympathetically treated.
The application does not commit to connecting the Bedford to Milton Keynes canal systems merely providing parts of the waterway and reservation of land for future canal works.
Notwithstanding any of the above, MMAG propose that if Marston Valley receives outline planning consent there should be the following conditions:
1. Marston Valley should be designated as a new town with properly constituted delivery structure – a time-limited Marston Valley New Town Development Corporation MVNTDC akin to that which pertained in Milton Keynes.
2. MVNTDC should have a community governance which provides for democratic oversight & pro-active community engagement.
3. MVNTDC should have an office centrally located within the New Town providing a focal point/forum for information, administration and engagement.
4. There should be a clearly delineated ownership map with timescale; outlining how public & green space, community facilities & waterways are to be managed, maintained & planted.