Public Meeting Local Plan 2035

Public Meeting Local Plan 2035-May22-2017

Public Meeting Local Plan 2035-May22-2017

Consultations end June 9th!

Local residents and concerned parties packed out the village hall on Monday evening to discuss and debate Bedford Borough Council’s Local Plan 2035 in which there is a proposal to build up to 4500 new houses on the nearby Colworth Estate. Souldrop and Knotting Parish Councillor Jeremy Viewing informed the villagers of the plans which if they go ahead would eventually see two new access roads joining with the A6. One road would leave the A6 on a new roundabout by Souldrop Turn and head straight across the fields towards the railway bridge on Sharnbrook Road , from there a new road would link to the new development, passing by Roundwood. Further north along the A6 near West Wood Gate where the Three Shires Way crosses there would be another new roundabout linking to a new road that would take the course of the current Three Shires Way/Forty Foot Lane B.O.A.T.  This would cross the railway and link to the new development to the south of Great Hayes Wood. Much of the new build which is called by the Borough Council ‘Lee’s Farm’ is actually within the territory of Soudrop Parish.

Jeremy introduced Gerry Sansom from The Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE) Bedfordshire who spoke of legal terms that the village would have to define in order to mount an objection to these proposals. He said there were resources at the CPRE website that could be helpful in mounting a campaign of objection. He also suggested working together with other local communities. On Lee’s Farm he said that Bedfordshire CPRE had already put their thoughts together which you can read here

It was suggested that the official proposal calls the development a “village” in fact 4000 plus houses is actually to put in perspective, a town the size of Ampthill

Next Jeremy introduced Neil from the nearby Santa Pod drag racing track, whom is also affected by these plans. Baroness Barbara Young spoke on Wildlife and Woodlands issues and many others pitched in with thoughts and suggestions.

It was agreed that Jeremy could move forward with a village mandate for objections that would have to be worked out worded in correct legal terms to define and object to the actual planning proposals.

It was also emphasised and this is important, That as well as a formal Council objection that the more individuals that send in their thoughts and or objections to Bedford Borough Council Local Plan 2035 the more impact it would make. Jeremy also added that the sooner the better as the closing date for consultations is on June 9th which is only a few weeks away and probably best not to leave making your voice heard until the last minute!

Planning for the future

Bedford Borough Council Local Plan 2035 Website

It was decided that an action group should be formed and a number of enthusiastic villagers queued up to leave their contact details. Jeremy said there would be a formal Parish Council Meeting on May 30th and they would put together a worded template with key points that can legally be used to help any villagers wishing to make a protest. As soon as that is available, we will have that available on this website and perhaps in paper to the community. It was also deemed better for villagers to send in individual self worded letters rather than use the confusing and limited online form at the Local Plan website.

So please watch this space if you care about the future of the village. Reach out to inform the folk in the village and nearby neighborhoods of the proposals, that may not be online.

Below is an address for writing letters (Must be delivered before June 9th)

Local Plan 2035 consultation
Planning Policy Team
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall
MK42 9AP
If you have any questions please contact the planning policy team at or call 01234 718300.

Souldrop and Knotting Parish Council Website

“Continue Reading” below to access plans for the new proposals

Continue reading

Public Meeting Local Plan 2035

Public Meeting 22nd May Local Plan 2035

Public Meeting 22nd May Local Plan 2035

Public Meeting in the village hall 22nd May at 8pm to discuss Local Plan 2035

Bedford Borough Council claims it needs to build another 9000 homes within the north Bedfordshire region by 2035. An application to build up to 4500 of these new homes has been put forward for the nearby Colworth Estate. This in effect would amount to a small ‘garden’ town with new roads and roundabouts from the A6 taking the course of Forty Foot Lane and the Three Shires Way to connect the new build to the A6. Much of the proposed new development would fall within Souldrop Parish. Souldrop village would potentially be surrounded by these new developments.
At this point we should mention that there are other options for the 9000 homes elsewhere namely, Thurleigh , Clapham , Sharnbrook and other places.
Please check out the Bedford Borough Council webpage for Local Plan 2035.

Two days before on Saturday May 20th 10.00am – 3.00pm there is a public consultation at The Howard Centre in Bedford, the last in a series of three. There is an email address you can send questions regarding this issue on the councils page.


School Transport Bombshell!

School-Bus Bombshell

School-Bus Bombshell

Bedford Borough Council has made a recent policy decision to vastly reduce the subsidy for the school transport for 6th form students. Following the result of the ridiculous Hobson’s choice consultation – the choice of accepting this rise or scrapping the subsidy altogether –  the Council Executive have voted to raise the school bus fee for 6th former’s from £381.90 to a staggering £890 per student per year which, almost certainly affect students from Souldrop and its surrounding area.

The reason given is the cuts in local authority funding by the current central government which means that they are required to make addition savings (C £2.1m).  Recently, the same government introduced legislation requiring all children to stay in some form of education until they are 18. 

With few apprenticeship or other options available to children in our area, and many children looking to use 6th form as a steppingstone to university, this policy is a grossly unfair as it penalises local rural families.

Martyn Wady is coordinating a campaign centered on Risely but also including all north Bedfordshire villages affected.

“With few apprenticeship or other options available to children in our area, and many children looking to use 6th form as a steppingstone to university, this policy is a grossly unfair as it penalises local rural families 

This policy puts students in rural areas at an educational disadvantaged in comparison with other children in the borough and therefore it is my intention to challenge this policy change on the grounds of discrimination. With the changes due to take effect from September, time is of the essence”

Martyn added “I am planning a campaign to have this policy overturned and we have the support of many local residents, the constituency Labour Party and the Riseley Conservative Ward Councillor”

The campaign actions will include:

  • ·  Organising an online petition
  • ·  Organising a written petition
  • ·  Target mailing the mayor
  • ·  Target mailing Alistair Burt
  • ·  Raising the issue in the press

·  Generally raising awareness to residents in catchment (Sharnbrook) locations

Martyn urges the affected people bring this up in their local council meetings which he hopes will offer to support the campaign and be able to offer local assistance and contacts that will be needed.