Skatepark in Shefford
Skatepark in Shefford

Labour Candidate challenges Central Beds Council to hold developers to account

Rhiannon Meades Labour Parliamentary Candidate, has written to Councillor James Jamieson, Conservative Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, calling on him and the Council to hold developers to account. This follows complaints and concerns that have been expressed to Rhiannon by residents across Mid Bedfordshire. All too often developers do not complete the community provision, including sometimes even roads, when they have finished building the houses or industrial units on which they make their profits.

A case in point is the delayed Skatepark on the Bovis Campton Fields development in Shefford.

Residents can end up having to pay service charges because the Council has not adopted roads and has not enforced planning conditions. This has proved to be the case at the Millers development at Silsoe. Local resident and mother of two, Louise Chinnery is furious. “It’s outrageous that greedy developers take the money and run. I have lived on my new estate for over six years. The developer didn’t finish the development so that it could be adopted by the council and Central Beds have never held them to account. We pay extortionately high maintenance fees which we don’t see anything for.”

It is a similar story at the Home Farm estate in Cranfield. Joel, a resident of the new estate, complains about the length of time it took for the developer to complete their road.  “In addition, we still pay a £120 service charge on top of our council tax. I don’t know what the council are doing about it.”  These problems compound the planning crisis in Central Bedfordshire. The Conservative Council may be forced to withdraw its Local Plan proposals as Inspectors appointed by the Government have raised serious questions about its validity and quality. If this Local Plan is not accepted by the Government there could be open season for developers to build where they wish whatever the local interest and local opinion.

Rhiannon said

“Conservative planning in Central Bedfordshire is a shambles. The Local Plan is at serious risk of having to be withdrawn. When developers do build new estates they are not being held to account by the Conservative Council.  I have asked Cllr Jamieson to take action and have proposed a six point action plan. On behalf of local residents I hope that he and the Council will adopt this action plan”

Mid Bedfordshire Labour Press release: 28th November 2019

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