Ex-brickworks site allocated for 1,000 new homes
Over 500 people attended a public exhibition on proposals to create new homes and jobs at Bedford Brickworks.
The exhibition took place on Friday 11 January 2019 at Stewartby Village Hall, where members of the public had the opportunity to speak with the Bedford Brickworks team and provide feedback on the plans.
Investor Cloud Wing is proposing to create a new community with up to 1,000 new homes and a mix of employment spaces for 15,000 new jobs on the brownfield former brickworks factories in Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick and adjacent sites.
Shen Kan from Cloud Wing said:
“Our vision is to create thriving new residential and business communities which contribute to the enhancement of Bedford. These sites have the potential to create thousands of well-paid jobs, reducing the need for local people to commute out of the town for work.”
Cloud Wing are not developers, but the company has been investing recently in the property market in mid and south England.
Remaining chimneys to be demolished
Bedford Borough Council has granted permission for the four remaining chimneys at Stewartby to be demolished due to health and safety concerns.
As part of Cloud Wing’s proposals a new replica chimney with ‘Stewartby’ written down it will be built. However, they will not be building it.
Shen Kan said that Cloud Wing would set aside a significant amount of money on account with the council before the existing chimneys are demolished.
The detailed design of the replica chimney will be subject to a separate planning application to be submitted in the Spring.
As a result of the previous site use there will be the requirement to remediate some of the ground within the site. There is also the landfill site and the Rookery South Incinerator.
“We share a lot of local concerns towards what’s happening at around it.
“There are two sides of the equation, one is the potential hazard which is outside of our control.
“On the other hand there are remediating grounds that we can positively contribute towards, things like the Marston Vale Forest.”
Extra traffic on Marston Vale’s roads
Bedford Brickworks isn’t the only planned development within Marston Vale. All will potentially add to the potential peak delays at Junction 13. Shen said:
“From a developers point of view what we are ultimately have control of is what is in within our land.
“Within our land we are building new junctions and new bridges. On the one hand to improve the safety around traffic and on the other hand to improve the ability for the future employers, workers and residents to access the site.”
Shen added that developers need to get together to work with the government to build infrastructure that will enable growth opportunities.
As with most Marston Vale developments, a health centre has been promised. Cloud Wing will not be building it, but allocating the land for it.
“I know that a lot of developers make a lot of promises.
“So if we have want to keep the trust of the community by promising a Health Centre and we don’t make it available by at least doing our part of making the site available, then we wouldn’t have an easy relationship with the local community.”
John Symonds, chair Stewartby & Kempston Hardwick Parish Council, said:
“[We are happy] to a certain extent unless they decide not to listen to us. Once they stop listening to us then things could change.
“Some of the stuff they have put out there [the exhibition] is a little outdated and not quite right and a little misleading, but not deliberately misleading, but it doesn’t help them.
“They haven’t dodged any answers and welcomed every question put to them.”
More information on the development can be found at https://bedfordbrickworks.co.uk/