Mixed reaction on large-scale Arlesey development

A COUNCIL is asking developers to listen to people’s views on a town’s redevelopment plan.

Arlesey town councillors say that some residents have concerns over plans for the area, which include building in excess of 1000 homes as well as a new road, and commercial and leisure facilities.

The plans, which are outlined in the Arlesey Cross development framework, were displayed in the village hall at a public exhibition held last month.

The framework is the brainchild of Arlesey Consortium, made up of Central Beds Council, housing developers, Arlesey Investments Ltd and Greene King.

Cllr Linda Clapham told the Comet that, following feedback from residents, there were some concerns that had come to light.

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“The council in general are prepared to work with the community in Arlesey on making sure that these proposals are as fair to residents of Arlesey as possible,” she said.

“We feel it’s a very heavy development, right out of proportion to the size of the current settlement, and that there wasn’t enough initial consultation. We are happy to work with the people of Arlesey and really get to know their requirements.

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“If we do have this development, we need to make sure it’s developed in the right way. They [developers] do need to make sure they are not ruining people’s quality of life. People are not happy about it [Arlesey] becoming a huge urban sprawl.”

She added: “It could result in knocking down people’s businesses and property from the 1850s.”

The feedback from the exhibition will be studied, and a masterplan for the site will be produced. It is not yet known how long this will take.

Chairman of Arlesey Residents’ Association, Hugh Harper, supports the plans.

Mr Harper is the former chairman of the town council, and was on the council when the plans were at an earlier stage.

“I support it [the plans] wholeheartedly, I think it’s something we need,” he said.

“Arlesey hasn’t got lots going for it, really, when you look around. There are few infrastructure and facilities.

“This has already been accepted. We have spent the last seven years with this going forward. It will happen, it’s just a question of when it will happen.

“There are quite a few people who are saying they don’t want it, but of course you get that with anything.”

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