Woburn Sands & District Society | 08 January 2008

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19/01/2009 - East of England Regional Scale Settlement Study

On Friday the 16th January, the East of England Regional Assembly published the report they commissioned in respect of Regional sized Settlement Study by Arup - whilst not a consultation document yet, this study is based on if or where "new regional settlements" and urban extensions could be be placed taking into account such key issues as employment, transport, physical contraints and the like - to meet the Governments housing targets . Water, flood, agriculture, and food production environment is not given a high profile in the study.

You have to remember that the Government is obsessed with building its way out of the affordability problem, conveniently ignoring that this and previous governments caused the problem in the first place - and of course setting up the National Housing Advisory Unit to reinforce the view, when Regional Assembly's did not deliver the numbers the Government considered was required.

One of the Governments initial and enduring visions was a garden city type replication - ignoring of course the reason and cost of these in the late 1800s - but focussing on the new town vision that would deliver the housing targets that they felt were needed.

The EERA brief for the report and report itself is actually well worth reading and brings a robust note of sanity to what is going on - but I would suggest, for those interested, that to avoid printer overload ( unless you can cut out pictures), that you request a printed copy - or view on line, and print out the relevant chapters.

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What has this to do with the Society. Well the Marston Vale Eco Town, and the MK expansion proposals under the SE plan directly impact on our area - and MK expansion is THE government flagship - with Marston Vale just an extension of same. The Arup report on Regional Settlements considers the expansion of the Marston eco town into a regional settlement of 20,000, and concluded that they would not recommend this, other than as an alternative to the three sites that they do support. Their reasions, are that a Regional Settlement in this area a) would be a dormitory town for MK and indeed London with associated increased car use b) that competition for employment would threaten particularly the proposed growth area and regeneration of Bedfords and indeed the gvts flagship MK

News Keywords: EERA Settlementn Study

Areas Covered include: Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Aspley Heath, the Brickhills, Husborne Crawley, Salford, Wavendon and Woburn
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