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Call for Council to Drop its Proposals for Development of Greenfield sites

October 6, 2009 4:54 PM
Dave Hodgson

Dave Hodgson has pledged to block Council plans to sell off green spaces for development

With a draft plan of sites for future developments in Bedford Borough now overdue, Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate Dave Hodgson has pledged to block Council proposals to sell off greenfield land for development as part of the proposals. As part of the process of making its final policies on where development will be permitted, Bedford Borough Council last year proposed large housing and commercial developments at a range of sites including Bedford Athletic Rugby Ground, Mile Road Allotments in Cauldwell and Berry Wood in Wootton.

A draft version of the final list of sites to be allocated for development was originally due for public consultation by October, but is now not likely to appear until the spring.

The sites to be identified for development will be selected from the submissions made by the Council and by private landowners. Following Liberal Democrat opposition, plans for a large housing development on Mowsbury Golf Course were dropped by the Council. Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate Dave Hodgson says that if elected, he will drop all of the council's proposals to sell off green field land and community facilities for development. He said: "The council's proposals to sell off valuable public space in a desperate dash for cash must be stopped. More than enough sites are already allocated for the provision of the new homes that are required to be built in Bedford Borough. Quite simply, there is no need for more and more land to be concreted over."

"If these important leisure and recreation sites are built over, continuing urban sprawl will result and the quality of life of local residents will suffer. The green spaces in both urban and rural parts of the Borough are valuable to local communities and must be protected. I have fought for the removal of the Mile Road allotments from the proposed list of development sites. It is utterly wrong that facilities such as this, along with the Bedford Athletic Rugby Ground to the north of Bedford and Berry Wood in Wootton, are considered suitable for large housing developments, and I guarantee that they will be protected if I am elected Mayor."