Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Houghton Regis Central - Autumn update

Houghton Regis Central is the working title for a 170 unit development for Central Bedfordshire Council for elderly people on the site between Clarkes Way and the High Street, facing eastwards onto the Village Green.

The programmed timetable was outlined by the director at a meeting of the Town Partnership Committee at HRTC offices on Monday.

An architect has been appointed - Kyle Smart Associates - after a shortlist of candidates were given a chance to shine. They were responsible for the work at Priory View, Dunstable. Priory View is a new housing development in the centre of Dunstable offering a total of 83 one and two bedroom apartments Extra Care facility for older people (brochure.pdf) Applications, etc.

A 3D model is in the making, akin to Minecraft, which can be adjusted and tweaked as feedback starts to come back from selected interest groups. This is expected to be available to the public very early in the new year.

Another firm has been appointed to undertake the public consultation work, and raise further awareness and get more feedback. They are due to make a presentation to the Town Council on 1st February, and earlier exhibitions may take place in Bedford Square Community Centre.

If all goes well, a planning application could be submitted in the Spring. Equally, if something comes up that throws a financial spanner into the scheme, or an unachievable objective comes along, then the scheme might not happen at all.

To find out more, we have a Facebook Group Houghton Regis Central:

Monday, 12 October 2015

Public, Councillors, and Developers: Think! Before You Plant!

Only this last week I was contacted by a householder upset at the lack of light to their home because years ago a tree was planted too close to a home. This tree will be dealt with eventually by CBC, but at the moment not during the next 12 months, according to an update to me from the relevant CBC office.

The public, councillors, and developers clearly need to be educated about the effects of trees when planted near homes.

Thursday, 8 October 2015


I am disappointed that the site layout design seems to have ignored the possibility of joining with the owners of the old Red Lion to create a new site entrance for the Red Lion off the applicant's new cul-de-sac. This could have reduced the number of entrances onto the Bedford Road.

Who will be responsible for the "mown amenity grass" between the private gardens, and the "general meadow area" and who will manage the other areas of soft landscaping? I refer to drawing

The trees mentioned in should not be planted so close to houses that they become a problem in 20-30-40 years time. Regard should especially be taken to ensure that fruiting trees are not planted close to houses. These can become a problem for parked vehicles, dropping fruit such as cherries on cars, or providing a perch for birds that leave their droppings on parked vehicles. Trees should not be planted so close to houses that future branch growth interferes with light to windows, or causes leaves to fall into guttering. Council enforcement officers should especially inspect to ensure adherence to this.

Trees which are particularly prone to self seeding should be avoided altogether from the site, especially close to homes and gardens. The seedlings are a constant cause of irritation to people living in the Parkside ward of Houghton Regis, primarily because of the need to keep on weeding out unwanted seedlings. I would not care to be a resident on the new site having to face the same issues all over again.

Householders should be encouraged not to plant new trees near their houses. The Council could put together advisory leaflets drawing on the examples of problems that might arise in the future, from Parkside, Houghton Regis.

Specifically, there are many trees depicted planted very close to houses in so I object to this.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Hillborough Crescent Double Yellow Parking Set To Continue

It looks like illegal parking in Hillborough Crescent is set to continue, because, according to a response from CBC that I have received, by the time the parking enforcement staff have parked up, and walked back down the road towards the illegal parkers, the drivers have seen them coming and hurried away!

The problems with parking on double yellow lines at Hillborough Crescent have long persisted. Even Google streetview has caught several vehicles parked on there.

The Control Enforcement Officers have to park down the road from the lines and walk back to the offending vehicles. This gives the chancers time to move on before a Penalty Charge Notice can be issued.

I've been told the Parking Team are aware there is a problem here and will continue to patrol the area and do their best.

Hillborough Crescent Friday. Here's a reminder.
Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Saturday, 3 October 2015