Protest march over plans for 2,500 houses on county border near Rushden

Concerns have been raised about plans for 2,500 homes on the county border near Rushden.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 31st March 2018, 6:00 am
The march against plans for Colworth Garden Village
The march against plans for Colworth Garden Village

Proposals for a new development known as Colworth Garden Village are included in the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2035.

If the development gets the go-ahead, it would feature 2,500 new homes and include a new parkway rail station to ease traffic congestion on the A6.

Two new access roads would also be built from the A6 - one of which would provide a new access to Santa Pod Raceway and Colworth Science Park easing traffic on rural roads.

But the plans have been met with opposition from numerous parties, including people living in the villages of Souldrop and Sharnbrook as well as Rushden.

A community protest march against the plans took place earlier this month with people marching towards the proposed site of the garden village.

One resident contacted the Northants Telegraph about the plans and said: “As a resident of Souldrop, I am very worried about such a development for many reasons such as the lack of infrastructure in North Bedfordshire, damage to the fabric of ancient woodland and the fact that this new town would be next door to Santa Pod raceway.

“I am very concerned with regards to the fact that the land at Colworth is almost entirely on green countryside and farmland.”

A number of authorities in Northamptonshire have concerns about the proposed garden village.

In a report produced for East Northants Council’s planning policy committee, it said in practice it would represent an extension to the established village of Sharnbrook and Sharnbrook would effectively become part of a new town situated mid­way between Bedford and Rushden.

It also said concerns have been expressed by people living in the Avenue Road/Bedford Road area of Rushden, including the potential impact of the development for the A6, as well as services and facilities at Sharnbrook.

They are also concerned about loss of high value countryside around Sharnbrook and Souldrop.

The plans were discussed by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Committee at a meeting on March 1, with the report saying: “The proposed Bedford Local Plan has potentially significant implications for North Northamptonshire (particularly East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough).”

Rushden Town Council discussed the plan on February 20 and minutes from the meeting noted: “Members considered this and further to East Northants Council meeting we will be providing our comments in the next couple of weeks.”

A public consultation on the Bedford Local Plan 2035, including Colworth Garden Village plans, took place recently.

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