New garden village on outskirts of St Neots will bring 10,000 homes

St Neots High Street

Councillors fear there could be some negative impact on the area if the Dennybrook Garden Village plan goes ahead without mitigation measures in place. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Concerns have been raised about plans for a new garden village which will be built just 1km from the St Neots border. 

Although the Dennybrook Garden Village will sit within Bedfordshire, in reality, it is located just one kilometre from the St Neots border and 3KM from the town centre. In contrast it is 10km from the Bedford town border.

St Neots Town Council (SNTC) has raised concerns at an early stage and says there could be a negative impact and drain on some, already struggling services in St Neots, but without the benefits of Community Infrastructure Levy from developers and Council Tax income as the development is technically in Bedfordshire.

SNTC has formulated a response to Bedford Borough Council, which was approved by councillors at a full town council meeting last night (June 23). 

"No development of this scale can exist in isolation and while the development is in Bedfordshire, it will be located only a kilometre from the St Neots border and 3km from St Neots town centre. For comparison, the development will be 10km from the Bedford town border," the council states in its response document.

"It is this council's view that the impact of building up to 10,000 new homes this close will have a far reaching impact on St Neots residents and services."

In its response, SNTC is also asking Bedford Borough Council to make a presentation to councillors to discuss their concerns and the mitigations necessary to reduce the impact on St Neots and ensure there are also some benefits for the town.

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The area, close to Wyboston, is currently open space and is used by dog walkers and those undertaking other recreational activities.

Councillors have also raised concerns about the impact on the emergency services and the demand on road and rail links in this area.

There are also unanswered questions, says SNTC, regarding impact on the climate and the flood risk of replacing green fields with concrete and tarmac,

"SNTC also requests projections on the impact on emergency services, in particular, community policing. St Neots local policing has been defunded and reduced over may years and is not in a position to effectively manage undesirable elements which will inevitably arrive with such an expansion of population, " the response document states.

The document goes on to ask Bedford Borough Council to provide emergency service impact projections, including detail on projected crime levels and mitigation.

Bedford Borough Council has been approached for a response. In its planning document it describes Dennybrook as "based on the principles of overlapping landscapes of different function and character"

"These will combine to create a cohesive and multifunctional landscape delivering a wide range of biodiversity, landscape and recreational benefits."

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