Saturday, 28 March 2015

About Me

Alan D Winter
​ - About Me -
Tel 01582 514654
​Town ​
Parkside Ward​,
​ Houghton Regis Town Council​
Editor, Houghton Regis ​Diary 

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Overflowing Bins - Now They Should Be Emptied Twice a Week at Houghton Hall Park

From Central Beds Council:  info pack to the last Houghton Regis Town Partnership meeting.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Car Parking Needs Improving at Hawthorn Park School

We need more parking spaces if the facilities run at and near Hawthorn Park are to continue on that site. The School, Jigsaw Centre, and Childrens' Centre staff, plus visitors share a car park which is not large enough, at normal times, and which suffers at peak school collection times. Parking overflows onto Enfield Close opposite, and frequently visitors park on grass verges. An effort needs to be made to create more parking spaces in this area.

See my report at

parking outside of marked bays in the car park
Highways have already responded to my request saying the area will be inspected, and then they'll need to cost out a plan and find a budget IF it's something they feel needs doing. So here's some more evidential support to help make the case that it should be done.

grass verge parking

parking in a hatched area

parking on "grass verge" - actually, it's mud now!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Enfield Close Trees Crowned

The three ash trees in Enfield Close were crowned today. Lower limbs were trimmed last week.

The team were back again today to do some serious crowning.

What I don't understand is why at least one of the trees, the one in the middle, hasn't been taken out altogether. In my view, and to be fair, the view of those doing this work, is that that tree should come out altogether to allow the other two to get more moisture and thrive.

As it stands, the condition of the limbs was poor due to lack of moisture, and the ground is rising around the bases, a sure sign that the trees can't get enough water. The tree nearest the path is forcing up the tarmac on the footpath creating a trip hazard.

I'm having a walkabout next Tuesday with a CBC officer to specifically look at the ward's trees.

M1 Junction 11a Making Progress

In a week that has seen ceremonial turf being turned for the official start of the A5-M1 Link Road in the north of Houghton Regis parish, I had a look at the works going on around the Sundon Road bridge.

The bridge itself is due for demolition at some point, to be replaced with a new bridge. So that'll be the M1 closed one weekend. The homes around the Sundon Rd/Luton Rd junction at Chalton Cross are subject to compulsory purchase and subsequent demolition.

EA asked to take action over Houghton Brook (Again)

I got onto the  Environment Agency the other day to request that they had a go at Central Bedfordshire Council, or at least their contractors, for the logs and other debris that they have allowed to fall into the Houghton Brook.   I want to see good management of the building of this Woodside Link road that fully takes into account the wildlife in the area, as well as stream life. Sadly it's too late for some creatures whose homes have gone, and they have had to move on, too. 

The width of trees taken down for this road through the woodland, that lays between parkside and Lewsey Farm, I'm sure is far too wide.

Litter in Houghton Brook. 

Morrisons New Parking Limits Safeguard Parking for Their Customers

Looking ahead, parking in our town centre is going to get harder and harder.

The Co-op car parking is lost, and it's going to be tough creating enough parking spaces on that site for the residents, staff, visitors, as well as additional spaces for proposed extra retail, social, and cultural offerings also proposed for that site. 

Tithe Farm Rd car park is frequently very full. 

Then there is unofficial parking currently enjoyed at the the former Netto/Morrison store site. If CBC planning give the go ahead for a petrol station on that site, that will be a loss of another 50+ spaces.

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Ward Walkabout 14-03-2015

Another memo sent today to request work here. To complement earlier requests.

Informed HRTC. Parkside Rec.

Trees thinned out recently. Westminster Gdns.

As above.

Reported today as this has been left dumped awhile now.

Houghton Regis-on-sea?

One of several reports filed in today. Littering. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Hands off our Open Spaces, Luton! Now and In the Future! #hrn1 #hrn2

CBC wants to build 31,000 homes and create 27,000 new jobs between now and 2031, including 5,400 homes for residents in Luton. But Luton are arguing for a further 6,000 more homes for their residents.

If Luton carry on like this, the planned open spaces around Houghton Regis' North Expansion could be seriously under threat from pressure for CBC to come up with another plan that gives in to Luton.

And yet, despite Luton losing on every single one of the 10 points they went to court over,  they are now considering appealing - even though they were refused leave to appeal !

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Tree and bush cutbacks welcomed.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Comment on "CBC Approves Legal Challenge on Development Strategy" #HRN2

A call for a Judicial Challenge of a Planning Inspector’s decision over Central Bedfordshire’s Development Strategy was approved by full Council last Thursday.

A Planning Inspector had ruled that Central Bedfordshire Council had not co-operated with neighbouring Luton Borough Council.

Full CBC Press Release


What bothers me about all this is that Central Beds have set a Framework Plan that says some 7,000 homes will be built across land to the east and north of Houghton Regis. They will do this by permitting building on land that is regarded as Green Belt. To facilitate this, they will have the Green Belt boundary rolled back to the line of the A5-M1 link road. I accept all this, as the outline plans seen so far indicate a substantial amount of land (up to a third) will be reallocated as open space. 

Now, if the Inspector is saying the plan is unsound because they have not sufficiently consulted with neighbouring Luton Borough Council, this means that CBC will have to come up with a new plan. That new plan could set new demands on housing targets, eradicating much of the planned open space. Contrary-wise, if they don't do a new plan, then I feel there will be a strong desire for developers to keep coming forward with plans to build on the open spaces, because they will say, "Why not? It's not Green belt land anymore".

 It is already troubling that there are ad hoc extra portions of land that potentially might be built on. All these extra homes create extra pressures on support services, roads, parking,  health, shopping and so on. So, yes, from what I understand at the moment, CBC are right to challenge the inspector's decision, and right to carry on insisting that the number of homes planned for in the Framework Plan for Houghton Regis North is the absolute limit.