New homes plan - “you’ll be able to shake your neighbour’s hand through your kitchen windows”


Villagers fighting plans for up to 5,000 new homes in their doorstep are holding a community event on Saturday.

The Lidlington Action Group is hosting a community drop in at the village hall to help residents understand what Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) is proposing for the village in Marston Vale.

CBC’s Pre-Submission Plan, now out for public consultation until February 22, calls for up to four villages of around 5,000 new homes and various infrastructure around the small village.

Campaigners say it will create an urban sprawl, swamping the village, which currently has around 550 homes.

Resident Darren Busby – a member of the Action group said: “Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, announced on the local news this week that the current Oxford/Cambridge Arc plans are not looking to ‘concrete over the countryside’ and create ‘monolithic housing estates’ but for us here in Lidlington the proposed building of 5000 houses will do just that.

“The housing density necessary for building these 5,000 homes whilst also allowing for 40Ha of employment land and the shops, cafes/restaurants, community facilities, leisure facilities, drinking establishments, Health Hub, schools, and a new waterway described in the local plan can only result in houses built so close together that you will be able to shake your neighbours’ hand through your kitchen windows. It will be an urban sprawl stretching from Brogborough to Marston Moretaine.

“We’re holding this event for all the local villages to attend and including something for all the family... tea and cakes, fish n chips, even a theatre show featuring Beatrix Potters’ wildlife characters. It’s also an opportunity for local people to get up to speed on what the proposed development will do to our rural community.

“We want to highlight what makes living here so special and what we stand to lose if they build this many houses here.

“We are also offering help to local people if they want to have their say on this proposed development but aren’t sure how to go about it”.

The community drop in is from 3.30-7pm on Saturday, with a performance by the Arena Touring Theatre from 4-4.45pm.

Developers O&H Properties Ltd will be launching a programme of community engagement on ideas and proposals for the Marston Vale.

A spokesman said they hoped its website would be launched next week.