EATON PARK: Three easy steps to object

Developers have applied to build 58 houses on Green Belt land behind Eaton Park.

This is a large development for Eaton Bray and if approved will open the door for future development in the village. You only have until 10th January to share your views.

We need your help.

If you haven’t submitted an objection before, we realise it can be a little daunting. To make it easy for anyone that wants to object, we’ve pulled together these three easy steps.


STEP 1: See why other people have objected

We’ve listed below some of the reasons other people say they have objected to this development.

Overall, the Green Belt is there to stop villages encroaching into the countryside or merging together. However, it can be developed if in exceptional circumstances and the benefits of the development outweigh the harm it would do to the countryside.

Not only do we believe that these circumstances and benefits do not exist, but this Green Belt development will place an additional burden on our already overstretched services.

This is part of our Countryside

  • Destruction of the Green Belt is an incremental process. Although the site is set back from the High Street, this area is considered by people in the village to be part of the countryside. The site is actively used for agricultural purposes – the grazing of sheep and lambs and hay production. Although the owners may decide to neglect the land, hedges, trees etc. in order to make a better case for development, it does not make it any less a part of our countryside or the Green Belt.

Sustainable Development

  • The proposal cannot be considered sustainable development. It provides weak improvements to the economic, social or environmental conditions in the area. The generic points the proposal makes, could have been copied from any speculative Green Belt (or Brownfield) proposal. It would be impossible for a housing development to have anything but a negative impact on the landscape, character and biodiversity or the area when compared to the countryside that already exists.

Traffic Congestion

  • Eaton Bray is facing an increasing issue in terms of traffic congestion. This development will add to the problem. Since the opening of the junction 11A M1 link congestion is increasing and this development would only make this worse. The size of the site would expect to bring an extra 85 to 120 cars to an already busy High Street. With only 6 retirement homes provisionally planned for the site, the vast majority of the residents would need to travel to work by car. With no local supermarkets and poor public transportation an increase in vans and online shopping deliveries would also create an additional pressure on our roads.

Public Transport

  • Public transport in this rural community is poor and does not support working families or the elderly. Currently only nine buses run from the village, often with 1 ½ hours between buses, and only running up to 6:30pm into Dunstable. The latest bus from Dunstable is 7pm. There are limited services to support working hours, and the infrequency of the schedule does not support the elderly accessing any services, including hospitals and supermarkets, outside of the village. There are even fewer buses at the weekend.

Cycling and Other Transport Methods

  • Given the rural location, the surrounding 60mph country lanes and no cycleway, it is impractical to expect workers, families or the elderly to cycle to nearby towns. Through the winter it would be reckless. For this reason, virtually all travel to and from the village is by private car.
  • The price of taxis in this rural area is prohibitive for many residents. A return trip to supermarkets in either Leighton Buzzard or Dunstable would be approximately £15-£20 each way. Either Luton and Dunstable Hospital or Stoke Mandeville Hospital would be considerably more.

Services

  • Like many villages, Eaton Bray has a small convenience store, public house and school. The neighbouring village also has a doctor’s surgery. Although they are valued by the local community, access to basic services cannot be considered exceptional. The shops provide only basic provisions.
  • The services we have in our village are already under pressure from the existing residents. With an aging population and significant housing developments in Edlesborough this pressure is increasing. It is already difficult to get appointments. Even though the surgery has an Edlesborough location, many patients are asked to go to their Pitstone surgery. This surgery is 6 miles away.
  • Our local schools have virtually no spare capacity. The majority of planned houses are family homes. With the UK average of 1.7 children per family, over 80 children would need to be accommodated in our local schools. Eaton Bray Academy Primary School is approaching its capacity. Edlesborough already has limited space and is under pressure from their own housing developments.
  • In a rural location, with poor public transport there are no easily accessible Secondary schools. Every secondary school within a 7-mile radius of this development (30 schools) is marked as oversubscribed.

Employment Opportunities

  • There are limited employment opportunities in the local area and building in this geographic location does not provide any unique benefit to local employers. Companies within Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Milton Keynes already have significant housing development to fulfil their needs and the public transport system does not support commuting from Eaton Bray to these locations. Given the location of Eaton Bray at the fringe of the county, and growing congestion in Dunstable make it impractical for Eaton Bray to contribute to the employment needs of Luton and central Bedfordshire.

Neighbourhood Plan

  • The development in contrary to our Neighbourhood plan. This application has been strategically submitted before the plan could been finalised. However, during this 3-year consultation, it found that 88% of the respondents expressed that building on the Green Belt would be detrimental to our village. Given the scale of this consultation and the priority placed by the residents this evidence should be considered.

STEP 2: Jot down a few ideas

Decide which topics you feel most passionate about. It might be some of the reasons above or could be something else you feel strongly about. Then take a few of minutes to jot down a few notes. Keep each point separate if you can.

Your objection doesn’t need to be war and peace. It’s just your chance to share your views and it’s much better to submit a short objection than nothing at all.

Note: You can prepare your comments in Microsoft Word or similar and simply copy and paste into the website comments box.

If you’re feeling pretty confident, you can skip this step entirely.


STEP 3: Click the link

Click the link to go straight to the objection form for this development. Under Opinion, remember to select “Object”. Then enter your comments. Hit Submit and you’re done.

Note that every member of your household – regardless of age – is entitled to make an objection. Just ensure that first and surname are included.

To go straight to the objection form click HERE

Simple as that.

If you know other people that would be impacted by this development, please share this post.

We really appreciate your support.