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
Bedford
MK42 9AP
If you have any questions please contact the planning policy team at planningforthefuture@bedford.gov.uk or call 01234 718300.

Souldrop and Knotting Parish Council Website

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

Continue reading

There is NO bus stop at Souldrop Turn

There is no bus stop at Souldrop Turn

There is no bus stop at Souldrop Turn. The picture above is wishful thinking for some!

Although most Souldroppers use their own transport for accessing the nearby towns such as Bedford, Rushden, Wellingborough etc, the village is not served very well by public transport which is vital for those who for one reason or another don’t drive.

Taxi’s can prove expensive for instance traveling to and from Bedford from Souldrop especially out of normal hours.

Stocking Lane bus stop

Stocking Lane bus stop

So what of the bus service’s to Souldrop?

From the Stocking lane bus stop’s adjacent to the Beacon village green, Grant Palmer offer three buses running towards Bedford via Harold Monday to Friday and two on a Saturday. There is just one return to Souldrop from Bedford (via ~Harold) (further info here)

To Rushden via Yeildon and Wymington there are two outward and two return. ( further info here)

I had a distressed phone call from a ‘stranded’ friend visiting me in Souldrop recently, asking if I would be kind enough to pick them up from Avenue road in Higham Park, Rushden. It turned out they had planned the journey based on information from the popular Routeplanner – Transportdirect website.
The bus service number 50 from Kettering to Bedford has Souldrop Turn on the busy A6 highway marked as a bus stop. Apparently the bus went sailing past Souldrop Turn without stopping, the eventual reason given to my friend by the driver was that “There is no bus stop at Souldrop Turn, it is much too dangerous for the bus driver’s to stop given the nature of the speeding traffic”

We looked on the Routeplanner website and sure enough Souldrop Turn is indeed marked as a bus stop. This left me puzzled so I took a closer look and sure enough there is no physical bus stop in the vicinity of the Souldrop Turn garage and in the area of the Stocking Lane junction. I went into the garage and asked the proprietor and he had no knowledge of there ever being a bus stop in that area of the main road. His response was that to his knowledge there was no bus stop.

Stagecoach the bus company run route 50 so I found their timetable online and checked the route, once again it clearly identified Souldrop Turn as a legitimate bus stop. Next I phoned their Bedford office up and asked the female Stagecoach assistant (Sandra) if the Souldrop Turn bus stop was still in use. After checking she initially confirmed that the bus stop was legitimate, after a little pressing for further information on to the actual whereabouts she put me on hold whilst she called through to the depot. When she came back her story had changed, the bus stop is marked as a bus stop but as the road is so busy, the drivers feel it is much too unsafe to actually stop there – in fact no bus driver can remember actually stopping there for over seven years!

Example timetable for Stagecoach route 50

Example timetable for Stagecoach route 50 showing the entry for ‘Souldrop Turn’

We have no issue with the bus drivers, in the absence of a physical safe harbour for buses to pull into, it is a decision clearly based on common sense given the busy and fast nature of this location, which is well known locally as an accident blackspot.

There are a few good reason’s why the Bus company in this case Stagecoach should officially remove their ‘tag’ for the Souldrop Turn bus stop. A bus stop at that location is not a viable solution for the service of passengers to and from the village of Souldrop, it is a kilometer away along an increasingly busy Stocking Lane with no pavement. It’s tagging on the Bus company and national timetables is misleading to travelers. The tagging as a legitimate bus stop can effect decisions based on the proximity to the village Souldrop by local and national government departments for instance Social Services, Schools etc and finally it can be used by bus companies to argue that they service our village which in this case is clearly untrue.

So I have written to the Bedford office of Stagecoach and I suggested they either kindly, Erect a safe harboured bus stop on either side of the road at the Souldrop Turn or, Take out the bus stop entry for the “SOULDROP TURN” bus stop as soon as possible from all the timetables.

And furthermore I asked for an official comment from Stagecoach as to the response for the above points.

As yet this hasn’t been forthcoming, my letter has been passed on from the Bedford office to the manager of the Kettering office who manage route 50. I am at this time still awaiting a reply. I will print their response when it arrives.

Mr S. Andrews

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Wanted! Souldrop News, Views or Photo’s!

If you have news, views or photo’s relevant to the village and community of Souldrop which you would like posting up on this website, please send in to our contact email below.

souldrop.steve@gmail.com
We will accept scan’s of flyers advertising community matters. We will happily accept digitised photographs of bygone Souldrop which we will collect together in a gallery for the whole community to view. We can accept the photo’s in J-Peg, Gif or PDF formats. If you don’t have a means to digitise your photo’s but would still like them posted, please go ahead and email me and perhaps we can arrange to convert them for you anyway!

We also offer a six months free advertising service to Souldrop based businesses. For Local Businesses, the first six months shall be free of charge, after that there will be a minimal charge to help fund some of the website costs.
Charities, Voluntary groups and community service ads will be always be free of charge. Please contact me for further details.

Thanks
Steve.

Gallery Quire at St Peter’s Sharnbrook Sat. Oct 13th 2012

Gallery Quire at St Peter’s Sharnbrook Sat. Oct 13th 2012

Gallery Quire at St Peter's Sharnbrook Sat. Oct 13th 2012

Gallery Quire at St Peter’s Sharnbrook Sat. Oct 13th 2012

Gallery Quire at St Peter’s Sharnbrook Sat. Oct 13th 2012
Tickets £8.00 Doors Open 7.30pm
Links:
St Peters Sharnbrook

Bedford Gallery Quire

Welcome to the Souldrop village website

Souldrop is a small village in Bedfordshire, located near the border with Northamptonshire. It is situated within the parish of Knotting and Souldrop and at the 2001 census had a population of 269 living in 114 dwellings. It is part of the Sharnbrooke Ward of Bedford Borough.

This website aims for the first time to bring together in one place, the latest news, local services, local events, local history, family history and other matters of interest to the local community of Souldrop and its environs.

We aim to open up a forum for discussion, a section on local history, a notice board, a section on local charitable interests, local businesses and most importantly to offer a voice in web-land for the local inhabitants of Souldrop.

 

“Souldrop air and Sharnbrook water make a man live longer than he oughta”