Site 13, The site adjacent to the A5120 and North of Westoning Road, was today removed from the short list of proposed sites by Central Beds Council. There are still formal sign-off meetings in March and April but the CBC proposals no longer include a site in Harlington
Many thanks to everyone who has supported the effort to oppose the inappropriate development of this green belt site.
There are other proposed developments that impact on the sustainability of Harlington and the community we live in. I hope that we can act as a community to ensure that all proposed developments are appropriate and in keeping with our environment.
The meeting to review the G&T Location Plan and the site in Harlington, Site 13, is this Thursday (28th Feb) at the CBC offices in Chicksands. Its a 10:00am start, you will need to be early if you want to be sure of getting into the building.
Some of the members of CaSH have arranged to meet in their cars at the Old Sun car park on the morning of the 28th at 8:15am with the intention of leaving for Chicksands at 8:30am prompt. There will be at least 20 spare seats available if people need a lift or simply want to “car share”.
It would be great if we could appear as a unified group. So if everyone attending could wear a white top of some description. (T-shirt, jumper etc) this will allow us to show our “scale”.
Network Rail are holding a open meeting on Wednesday 20th February at 7.30pm in the West Room, Parish Hall. Below is more information about the proposed local loop freight line and the associated plan for 2Million Sq Ft of Rail Freight Terminal. Both the construction and operation of this facility will have a dramatic effect on the village of Harlington. Please attend the meeting to find out more and become part of CaSH 2 to help prevent further erosion of Harlington’s greenbelt
Harlington Parish Council Info
Network Rail Proposal
A number of people have made this comment on facebook etc so it is worth sharing:
STOP PRESS!!! Responses to the proposed G&T sites received BEFORE this Friday (8th FEB) will be included within the report that goes to the CBC meeting on 28th Feb. Responses received AFTER the 8th Feb will still be considered, but may not have the same impact.
Responses should be based on ‘planning issues’, rather than personal assumptions.
ACT NOW IF YOU HAVE A VIEW ON THIS MATTER. Many other local villages and towns are rallying support to submit credible objections to their proposed sites … don’t let Harlington be the soft option!!!
Email email@example.com NOW.
For a full copy of the Chairman’s speech from the Parish meeting of 30th January, please click below
Chairman’s Speech – Parish Meeting – 30 01 13
It was a packed hall for the meeting with some excellent support, questions, comments, speeches and actions to take away. More information will be posted soon but here are the details of how you can help, the main points to make if you object to the proposed site and to whom to direct them.
What Can I do Today to Help?
- Get your (planning related) views (see overleaf) and comments across and encourage others as individuals to write NOW to ALL the people listed below.
- Send comments on this and other aspects of the plan to LDF@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
- Attend the meeting of Sustainable Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee, on 28th Feb, at CBC offices in Chicksands – send comments to Jonathon Partridge in advance if you want to speak at the meeting
- If the site is adopted onto the shortlist at that meeting on 28th Feb, Register to receive a letter to take part in the formal consultation in May and support the campaign group
- Volunteer to join a campaign group, help set it up. A campaign group can help with this and future threats to the green belt. BUT it doesn’t just happen – it needs you to help!
- Follow the issues and leave comments and suggestions via http://harlington.bedsparishes.gov.uk/ and here on www.Harlington.net
Jonathon Partridge, Policy Advisor
Tom Nicols, Ward Councillor
Norman Costin, Ward Councillor
Nadine Dorries, MP
What are the key, effective points to raise if objecting?
Harlington Parish Council is objecting to the proposal based on the following key points:
- Green Belt - it is clearly in the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) policy statement that traveller sites are inappropriate development of the green belt and that ‘very special circumstances are required’ to allow it.
- Unsuitable for Development – The site is subject to flooding and sewage contamination
- Pollution & Noise – from the adjacent A5120, expanded M1 and nearby railway line
- Safe Entry & Exit – For vehicular access and there is no pavement to the facilities in Harlington or Westoning.
- Water Pressure– Harlington already suffers from poor supply and low pressure
- The overall development strategy already has Harlington impacted from other proposals including: Rail Freight Terminal, Urban Expansion from Houghton Regis & Luton, another development would have ‘undue impact’ on the environment, ecology, pollution, character, noise.
More detail will follow.
Calling All Residents (do pass it on to neighbours etc)
Due to the clash of half term dates and to try to accommodate more people the date and venue of the meeting have been changed to Harlington Upper School at 7.30 WEDNESDAY 30th JANUARY (previously 18th Feb).
The meeting will give everyone a chance to be heard and will hopefully answer some questions. We should also be able to use the evening to start to co-ordinate any necessary follow-up activities.
If you have specific questions or ideas on things we should be doing as a village you may want to share them here.
Along with around 8 other residents and 3 HPC councillors I attended the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting at CBC yesterday (full agenda and papers posted on the CBC page of this site). The meeting lasted 3 1/2 hours and the majority of this was taken up by “agenda item 10 – Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan”. In the spirit of communication and as I know many would love to have attended but cant just drop everything else with a seconds notice I thought I would share a few personal thoughts/observations:
- Well done to Harlington for getting so many there. Of a public audience of around 120 people we made a good showing given there are 34 sites in question. Also our HPC Chair (Mary Walsh) was able to secure a speaking slot (a transcript of her 3 minute speech is posted on the HPC page of this site).
- As an opening statement the Chair stated how he would not tolerate any racist or abusive language or insinuations from anyone in the room. He had received many letters and emails and any which contained such language or accusations (of which he said there were many) were immediately discarded and not considered in any way.
- It was repeatedly made clear that the G&T community have rights to live in the CBC area and that CBC must find new sites for them. In addition that without an approved plan CBC would be more likely subject to “hostile attack” (the words of the proposer, Councillor Nigel Young) from the G&T community who will just take up sites on locations they see fit. Councillor Young was proud to repeat on many occasions his catch phrase “No Plan = No Control”. This scare-mongering tactic was aimed at Councillors and the public alike. It was quickly evident that the process will continue and a number of new sites will be designated for G&T pitches. The meeting was to discuss the process of selecting the long list of sites and was not site specific. This was a pretty difficult concept as almost everyone there (lets say 95% of the 120 strong public gallery) was intent on protesting how the site closest to them / in their ward should not be on the long list for one reason or another.
- 12 members of the public were given the chance to speak. Many gave good challenges and criticisms of the process; as did a number of Councillors who spoke afterwards. However, whilst some of the points were accepted and some work may be done to amend the plan the process was endorsed and continues as set out. As previously understood a full proposal and list of sites will be presented to CBC on 28th February 2013.
- Amazingly 7 of the public speakers were from the same area; Potton / Sutton. Feelings were running very high amongst this group.
- Its impossible to remember, let alone list, all of the complaints and defenses made. The ones I recall are: there has been no public consultation; growth rate of 3% is too high; we don’t need a 25 year plan; other Councils will not provide as many sites and we will suffer inward migration; many Wards have no proposed sites; urban areas such as Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard are not being considered; sites identified as appropriate in the last review have not been put forward this time and there is no explanation why; sites identified as inappropriate 6 years ago have been put forward this time (the Mott McDonald report was mentioned); shouldn’t use greenbelt land; shouldn’t take land that is used by farmers / where people make a living; not dealing with social cohesion; site should not dominate the local community.
As a final thought it was interesting to see the Council member of Barton leClay in action. Whilst accepting that this was not a meeting to discuss specific sites he stated how he was going to abuse his position as a Councillor and do exactly that. His emotive speech stated that there was no way he would allow any G&T sites to be approved in his area and would fight it all the way!
Maybe some of the other people who were there have something to add?
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