Thursday, 30 November 2017

Websites devoted to narcissism, self pity & wild conspiracy

Apropos post(s) passim - amazing how some of the rubbish posted on the Internet does become so much more intelligible via the translation service offered by Gizoogle (translates the original 'prose' into Gangsta Rap, I have removed the rude translations)

In particular sites devoted to self-pity, wild conspiracy theories, personal vendettas & a delusional sense of self-importance suddenly become mildly interesting & cease to be unintelligible garbage, but oddly Gizoogle does not correct the original grammatical howlers.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Luton & Central Beds Economic & Development Partnership Ltd

As previously forecast, the above company (Bushwood) has now been dissolved.

It is no more, deceased.

Given that this is the entity, whose sole director is Steven John Boyle (son of John Edward Boyle), owns the option of land North West of Caddington (Inions Farm) - known as Option 5 in the Central Bedfordshire Draft Local Plan - there maybe a problem with a/ credibility & b/ deliverability

See plan below for land in question.

My point to the planning team at Central Beds has been very simple - how can you take a proposal seriously when the Directors behind the scheme do not behave in a way in which you would reasonably expect them to. We have had years of disgraceful behaviour going right back to the days of Bushwood when the chaps behind the scheme almost uniquely managed to irritate every resident of Caddington & Slip End, but they are still about.

However we will not open the champagne just yet - there remains on the scene another opportunistic developer (Abbey Land Developments - whose sole Director is John Edward Boyle, the father of Steven John Boyle) Very much a family affair.

Abbey Land put in a development proposal to Central Beds for an urban extension to Luton in Caddington (Bushwood Mark ll) - the land in question was optioned to Luton & Central Beds Economic & Development Partnership. Now that the later has been dissolved will we see assets being seized by the Crown or will we see Abbey Land acquire the Option?

If Abbey Land acquires the Option & I was a creditor to the recently dissolved entity I might be just a little upset. The land is actually registered to an off-shore company D'Arblay Investments, who I assume still want to develop on our Green Belt / AONB.

It would also appear that the land immediately south of Luton Rd Caddington, opposite Inions Farm, is under a 21 year option agreement with Patrick J Boyle Investments signed in 2005. The Directors include aforementioned S Boyle & J Boyle.

There are also significant elements within Luton Borough Council who are determined to see Luton cross the M1 - I sincerely hope that Central Bedfordshire  does not support that aspiration in anyway through its own Local Plan.

The murky world of land ownerships, options & development aspiration in the Luton area  & specifically in Green Belt land in our area makes me very concerned.

Watch this space.

Friday, 10 November 2017

The power of social media

*** Update *** and by 23rd Nov views had reached 89k & 1222 shares - shows how popular Prince Harry is

I am sure this is an experience many others have encountered, but I noticed for the first time yesterday a feature on Facebook which enables you to see how many times a post has been shared or viewed.

I shot a short video of Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey yesterday morning at the Field of Remembrance Service & uploaded to Facebook.

By this morning that fairly amateurish video had had 29k views & 550 shares. Appreciate the subject matter is of great interst, I am genuinely surprised by the viewing numbers.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Abbey Land Development Ltd

Interesting to see the share holders of Abbey Land Developments, the outfit which has ambitions to build on the Green Belt in Caddington.

3 shareholders registered in 2015 - John Boyle, his son Steven & a Nicola Lee, who I believe is his daughter -  a real family affair.

There have also been interesting developments on the land known as Bushwood Mark ll or Option 5 in the CBC Local Plan.

Significantly there have been a number of changes to the Title of land under option North West of Caddington - BD64497, which has several pages of charges registered to it:

Field of Remembrance - Westminster Abbey

Moving ceremony at Westminster Abbey this morning.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Abbey Land Developments - stretching the bounds of credibility?

The company that has made a submission to Central Bedfordshire to develop around 300 acres of Green Belt East of Caddington has submitted its (micro) accounts.

I am reasonably familiar with planning process & I would expect any organisation that aspires to be taken seriously when it proposes development that would cost £100's of Million might be more than a Micro Company, but you make your own mind up.

But interestingly 'news websites' apparently concerned with reporting news & issues of interest to Caddington are more interested in personal vendetta's than reporting actual news, in this instance I am left puzzled as to the reason why.

There has been a mysterious silence on the issue of Bushwood & Bushwood Mark ll at the 'gobby' end of Caddington social media market. The reasons for which I am sure will emerge in due course.

But in the meantime these are the Micro Accounts for that internationally renowned developer Abbey Land Developments  Ltd that aspire to make Caddington a suburb of Luton.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Dunstable High St set for make over

Central Bedfordshire Press Release

For Immediate Release

PR 8171
31 October 2017

Council set to reveal plans for improving Dunstable High Street

Central Bedfordshire Council is set to reveal its plans for improving Dunstable, with public drop-in events starting next week.
Last year the council asked the public for their ideas for how to improve Dunstable High Street. They asked what would encourage the public to spend more time in the High Street, and how they could make crossing it safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.
In response, the public said they wanted to prioritise pedestrians, as they are the ones spending money in the shops and businesses, through a boulevard-style high street with cafes on wider pavements; more greenery; and more public areas and places to sit. The public also told the council to remove railings so that pedestrians can get to different areas around town, and improve the traffic lights at the main crossroads (where the High Street, Church Street and West Street meet). As well as the High Street, there are proposed improvements to the Middle Row; the Market Square; and Queensway.
The ideas include four ‘gateway’ features at key locations to help to define the town centre, and to indicate to drivers that they are entering a pedestrian-friendly area. The gateway features could also include information about the history of Dunstable and have a map to show key places of interest. To reflect the town’s history, the council is suggesting these are named Friars Gate; Eleanor’s Gate; Priory Gate; and St Mary’s Gate.
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Dunstable’s High Street and crossroads have played a key role in the town’s proud history, but over the years increased levels of traffic has led to heavy congestion and caused the town centre to lose some of its sparkle. We want to build upon Dunstable’s existing heritage to create a new and improved High Street. We want to make it people-orientated, with the feel of a market town which caters to the needs of both locals and visitors.
“Now that the Woodside Link and A5-M1 Link roads are open, the heavy lorries and motorway traffic are being taken away from the centre of Dunstable and the High Street is no longer the main through-route. Highways England is providing £1.5 million of funding for Dunstable in recognition of the impact the heavy traffic has had on the town when the High Street was the A5 and a major route to and from the M1 motorway. This will allow Central Bedfordshire Council to start making much needed enhancements to the High Street. We will continue to bid for more funding so we can undertake further improvements. We are delighted to be working with the Dunstable and District Local History Society and local designers to create the town gateway features, as well as public art in other locations in the town where the history of Dunstable can be reflected.
The public can see the council’s plans and make comments between 6 November and 8 December online at, or speak to council staff at the following dates and times:
Central Bedfordshire College, Kingsway, Dunstable LU5 4HG on Tuesday 14/11/17 from 2-4pm and Thursday 16/11/17 from 10-12pm.
Dunstable Library, Vernon Place, Dunstable, LU5 4EX on  Saturday 02/12/17 from 11am – 4pm, and Tuesday 05/12/17 from 4pm – 6pm.
Notes to Editors:
As part of the ongoing design and feasibility work aimed at improving Dunstable High Street following its transfer of ownership from Highways England in May 2017, Central Bedfordshire Council will be undertaking Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys.
A GPR survey is a non-intrusive and non-destructive method of surveying which identifies the position of underground features such as utility pipes.  This information is needed ahead of any future road works. The council aims to keep disruption to an absolute minimum, however footways will need to be clear and some traffic management will be required.
The GPR surveys have started this week and will run for a period of 3-4 weeks. Any lane closures should be restricted to off-peak hours and traffic will be monitored. If there are major incidents on M1 then any lane closures in the High Street will be removed, as it remains an official diversion route during motorway closures.

What Dunstable High St could look like

Bushwood Mark ll - land options

Following on from the question is development East of Caddington sustainable? 

This appears to be the extent of land optioned by the weirdly named Luton & Central Beds Economic & Development Partnership Ltd - Messrs Boyle.

It amounts to some 300 acres of land optioned to a company gazetted for strike off by Companies House.

The Strategic Planning folk at Central Beds do need to seriously consider the issue of deliverability of an isolated pocket of housing remote from Luton.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Bushwood Mark II

The strange saga of Luton & Central Beds Economic & Development Co Ltd continues. Those with long memories will recall that this is the mob who purport to have options on land East of Caddington for development purposes.

It is only a personal view, but I would not want the chaps running this wonderfully named development company running a Whelk stall, let alone a major development bid.

The land where options may exist is that surrounding the Inions Farm area, where Bushwood Mark II is proposed by another company called Abbey Land Developments Ltd. Father & son are respectively sole Directors of each company & quaintly live next door to each other in North Luton

L&CBED are proposed for strike off by Companies House on 5th Nov 2017 - assuming that this outfit retain some options on part of the Bushwood site it is fair to assume that (or any other) asset will revert to crown if the company is struck off?

A fair question to the Cenral Bedfordshire Local Plan Team is how do Abbey Land propose to deliver their little satellite scheme if they have no options open to them?

But I will give these chaps some credit, they have been banging on the Bushwood door since they first came to our attention in 2006 - they clearly do not understand the word no!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

London Luton Airport - newsletter

The latest Luton Airport newsletter drops into my inbox

An interesting view into what is happening at the airport -

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Now here is a question....

What are the chances of being arrested for the criminal offence of Harassment (without violence), not once but twice in two wholly separate cases? I doubt many folk have had the unfortunate experience of taking up so much Police time.

But an even smaller number would qualify for the supreme accolade of being arrested twice, charged once & also occupy a very minor public office.

If it were me I suspect I might just reflect on my behaviour?

Planning process

I suspect it is a little known aspect of planning process, but most planning applications of any size carry an obligation to fund public services in the local area - these are known as Section 106 allocations.

These are perfectly reasonable expectations - new houses mean increased use of health & GP services, Police, Fire & education services, waste collection & disposal, highway improvements and more choice based services such as leisure centres.

Occasionally the local authority will use S106 monies to build up funding for more ambitious schemes which may have a wider audience / benefit that just the Parish or Town in which the planning application is located.

All perfectly reasonable - increased housing = increased use of public services & developer contributions is the obvious & most equitable way of funding those services.

Personally I would like to see a more transparent process of how those allocations are made & as an elected member of a local authority which has planning powers I would like to be consulted in a more formal way around how allocations are made within my electoral area, however the system itself is a tried & tested process which largely works.

A day or two ago an opposition colleague in Central Bedfordshire sent out a very mischievous email to every Parish Council in the area suggesting that S106 allocations were somehow being used for wholly different purposes.

Two quoted examples were S106 allocations in the Parishes of Caddington & Kensworth for leisure centre funding. The closest leisure centre to both Parishes is Dunstable & it was not exactly surprising to see modest S106 allocations going to Dunstable Leisure Centre.

Aside from the political mischief being caused I am irate at the amount of time I and many colleagues will now need to spend correcting a very misleading impression given to the 6 Parishes within the Ward,

I have no issue with a proper debate on how the allocations are decided & who is consulted during a planning application, but scaremongering probably achieves the opposite of the intended effect.

Of course the story is then picked up by even less informed soles, who propogate the 'scandal' as fact.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Central Bedfordshire - doing rather well

Central Bedfordshire one of the most prosperous regions in GB

Central Bedfordshire is one of the most prosperous areas in Great Britain, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics*. The local authority area has the third fastest job growth rate in Great Britain, having grown by 11,500 new jobs to 104,000 (2015 to 2016), a growth of 12.4%. This is double the growth rate of the City of London (6%) and five times faster than the UK average growth (1.9%).

This commercial confidence is powering the area’s £5.4bn economy and a 24% increase in the number of businesses and puts Central Bedfordshire on the map as a leading centre for economic growth. The key sectors of High Performance Technology R&D, Transport & Logistics, AgriFood and Visitor Economy have all witnessed double-digit growth.

Central Bedfordshire is home to a world class High Performance Technology R&D sector, with exciting developments at Cranfield University and Millbrook Proving Ground driving the economy. Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Calsonic have also brought new jobs to the area and contributed to the biggest growth among the key sectors, with a 29% increase.

New Prologis sites in Dunstable and Marston Gate have created more than 3,000 jobs in the Transport & Logistics Sector, with top names such as Amazon, DFS and Dwell moving in.

The latest development of the Stratton Business Park in Biggleswade, the new A5-M1 link and junction 11a of the M1, and the council’s £4 million town centre regeneration programmes have all provided opportunities for local businesses to thrive and grow and attracted new commercial investment into the area.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “This achievement is testament to Central Bedfordshire Council’s proactive approach to development and enabling business growth. Investment in the area is supporting new start-ups and enabling world-class businesses to provide new employment opportunities for our residents. This latest data shows that Central Bedfordshire really is a great place to live and work.”

*The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry. It is also used to update structural information on the Inter-Departmental Business Register, the main sampling frame for business surveys used to produce UK official statistics.