Campaigners taking development fight to the council over plans for more than 40,000 new homes in Central Bedfordshire

Campaigning groups opposed to plans by Central Bedfordshire Council for massive development across the borough are taking their fight to borough headquarters today.

Representatives of community groups from across Central Bedfordshire will descend on the Council’s offices in Chicksands at 1pm to hand-deliver letters and petitions from their communities to Central Beds Council officers. The letters and petitions are all in opposition to the Council’s Local Plan.

The Communities represented were from Lidlington, Marston Moretaine, Ridgemont, Aspley Guise, Westoning, Barton Le Clay, Arlesey, Biggleswade, Sutton, Potton, Tempsford and Toddington.

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The Local Plan proposes to build a further 20,000 houses in addition to the 23,000 already being built or with planning permission. A public consultation ends tomorrow on the 22nd February. The plan will then be submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspector at the end of March. The submission will include comments and objections residents and stakeholders have made during the consultation, including the letters and petitions being hand delivered by the community groups to the Council today.

The Planning Inspectorate will hold a public ‘examination’ of the Local Plan later this year and can then recommend changes, rejection or adoption.

Adam Zerny – an independent councillor – said “There has been huge opposition to the Local Plan right across Central Beds. Thousands objected during an earlier consultation and I expect many more will do so this time. It’s a real pleasure to see groups in so many areas working together to protect the rural environment”

Rob Booth represents the Lidlington Action Group which, like many communities across Central Beds, is faced with development at a scale which would dramatically affect the existing community. He said “The Council’s Local Plan would lead to a level of development which the local population don’t need, won’t benefit from, and which we have told them we don’t want. We are not opposed to building homes people need. But they should be built in the right places, at a scale which is more sympathetic to existing villages and towns and avoids unnecessary loss of countryside and traffic congestion. The Council’s Plan is clearly flawed. It is unjustified, unsustainable and unfair. In our view, no plan is better than a bad plan and we hope the Planning Inspector will ask the Council to think again.”

There is still time to have your say at