Village will grow 10 times its size fear campaigners

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A councillor told how her local parish councillor had been unable to look her in the eye because of announced changes threatened to the Marston Vale.

Cllr Sue Clarke told Central Bedfordshire’s full council last week that the plans for 5,000 homes in four villages in the vale needed to be handled sensitively.

“I know that she is so sad that the place that she loves and values might be changed irrevocably ,” she said.

Lidlington Action Group spokesman Rob Booth told the meeting the plans would see the Lidlington area grow from a small rural of village of aorund 500 homes, to 10 times its size.

“You have chosen Marston Vale at this scale even though you have acknowledged that it is dependent on infrastructure,” he said. “You could have made different choices, a split of 2,500 with Aspley Guise would improve the plan and make it more deliverable.”

A spokesman for the Aspley Guise site, Jon Baker, said there were fears over the excess traffic coming from the Marston sites and that the Aspley site to the north of the village would be preferable because it would allow residents to use routes through Milton Keynes.

“The Aspley site is now on hold but Marston will be the bigger threat,” he said.

Cllr Clarke also warned the committee “many are highly cynical about our ability to provide infrastructure.”

The pre-submission report, which says 20,000 new homes and 24,000 new jobs are needed in the borough by 2035, was passed by councillors however.

It now goes out to consultation.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration said: “Not all the homes will be built in one go, so the growth will be gradual. And it will be delivered with the supporting roads, transport networks, schools, shops, more parks and open spaces, community, leisure and health facilities that, during our previous consultations and engagement events, thousands of people told us were needed.

“We have listened to that feedback and now have a Local Plan that will deliver the homes and jobs our residents need, where they are needed, while creating communities where people want to live.”

A drop in session will be held at Lidlington village hall on Thursday 25 January from 3-7.30pm.