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!
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
If you have any questions please contact the planning policy team at planningforthefuture@bedford.
“Continue Reading” below to access plans for the new proposals
Lee Farm Site Boundary
Master Plan (extract from further info)