The following is a summary of some of the conversations and views expressed by people in the community opposed to the development.
Please note that many of objections below are specific to the application at Bower Lane. For other developments, please see the relevant pages.
IMPORTANT Please do not copy and paste any of these comments into your objection. It will make your objection invalid.
How to make an effective objection:
Writing in your own words, share your personal perspective and focus on the two or three things you feel most strongly about. This will carry weight in the objection process. Although the impact to your house price or losing your view of the countryside may be important to you, they are not considered to be worthy objections and should be avoided.
Part of our Countryside
- Although the hedges surrounding the site have been allowed to grow and obscure the view, 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 for slaughter). Should the owners decide to continue to neglect the land in future, this does not make it less a part of our countryside or the green belt.
The Merging of Eaton Bray and Edlesborough
- Although we love our neighbours to the south, and recognising that there is housing along the road that runs between Eaton Bray and Edlesborough, we have two separate villages with two distinct centers.
- One of the fundamental purposes of the green belt is to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another. With the boundary of the housing estate located just 200m from Edlesborough, there is no question whether this development would bring forward a significant coalescence of our two villages.
- The proposal cannot be considered to be 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 Greenbelt (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.
- 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 between 250 and 343 cars to a known point of congestion. With only 12 retirement homes provisionally planned for the site, the vast majority of the inhabitants 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 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 from 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 Manderville Hospital would be considerably more.
- Like many villages, Eaton Bray has a small convenience store, public house and school. The neighbouring village also has a doctors 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 population. With an aging population and significant housing developments in Edlesborough this pressure is already 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 only accessible by car and 6 miles away.
- Our local schools have virtually no spare capacity. The majority of planned houses are large family homes. With the UK average of 1.7 children per family, 178 children would need to be accommodated in our local schools. Eaton Bray Academy Primary School is already over 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 (30 schools) within a 7 mile radius of this development is marked as Oversubscribed.
- 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 fulfill 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 the growing congestion in Dunstable makes it impractical for Eaton Bray to contribute to the employment needs of Luton and central Bedfordshire. If the ultimate objective is to support businesses in Bedfordshire, Eaton Bray provides substantially lower benefits any other site to the east of the M1.
- 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.
If you have any additional viewpoint that that we haven’t included but you’d like to share with the community then please contact us.