Woburn Sands & District Society | 08 January 2008

Latest News

07/02/2009 - Marston Vale eco town developers have withdrawn from the progamme

O & H Properties announced on the 6th February that they were withdrawing from the Eco Town Programme. They state that Sustainable Development would be best achieved through the plan led system. See a copy of O & H Properties press release in the representation and document library..

We are of the view that this decision was less to do with O & H Properties wishing to re-enter the plan led system, than for financial reasons and a desire to withdraw rather than face non short listing. The costs of meeting the eco town standards, as set out in the current draft Policy Planning Statement, subject to consultation, were to be met by the developer and passed on to the landowner through cost of land reductions. O & H Properties are of course both developers, and owners of land in Marston Vale. Previous attempts at developing their assets had had only limited success, and the eco town programme was seen as a way of realising their investment. A combination of current economic situation, the costs of the proposed development, and not least the strong local challenge to their eco town proposal meant that continuing was financially, and indeed ecologically untenable. Additionally, if, as assessed, they were not shortlisted, the decision would weaken their submission to EERA for a development of 20,000 homes in the Marston Vale.

As part of the East of England Plan Review, developers were invited to put forward their proposals. In October 2008, David Lock Associates put forward the Eco town proposal, which will now be changed as stated in the O & H press release. Perhaps to now put forward as a new Regional Scale Settlement of 20,000+. Additionally O & H Properties, Gallagher Estates and Old Road Securities put forward two additional proposals two expansions areas north and south of the Wixams development.

So whilst a battle has been won, the war continues. O & H Properties have substantial land investment in the Marston Vale and they will continue to fight to realise their investment irrespective of the effect on local communities, and infrastructure. We consider that there is little doubt that there will be some development in the Marston Vale but the fight will be to ensure that this such development proposals are sustainable and do not have a detrimental effect on both the environment and local/surrounding communities.

After discussion, the society decided to submit their representation in respect of the draft Planning Policy Statement in order that our concerns were noted and recorded. Although the immediate danger of the Marston Vale eco town has withdrawn. The document is available in the representation and document library.

So take a breather and relax but only for a short while.

News Keywords: Marston Vale eco town withdrawn

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