Anger as Central Beds Council marks 'significant milestone' for Arlesey Relief Road

Initial site preparation work will begin shortly with construction expected to start this spring and take about 18 months to complete

By Laura Hutchinson
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 3:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:00 pm

Central Bedfordshire Council was celebrating a ‘significant milestone’ in the development of a new road in Arlesey.

The new road will connect new homes and developments in the town – and the council claims it will help ‘ease congestion’.

But the news was met with fury when it was announced on the council’s Facebook page – attracting more than 150 comments.

The layout of the road, including the bridge

And they accused the council of ‘burying’ the fact that outline planning permission for 950 new homes has been secured for council-owned land known as Chase Farm.

Central Beds Council has appointed Sisk as the main contractor for the 1.4km eastern section of the ‘Arlesey Relief Road’, between the A507 and the High Street.

Initial site preparation work will begin shortly with construction expected to start this spring and take about 18 months to complete.

The council claims the road will have significant benefits for residents by moving a large amount of traffic away from the busy High Street, easing congestion in a ‘notorious’ bottleneck and reducing journey times for road users heading to the A507.

Part of the proposed layout. Construction is expected to start this spring.

It will also provide access to the Chase Farm land.

One commenter blasted the council saying: “Congratulation’s on destroying more greenbelt land, causing more congestion and building unaffordable homes.”

Another added: “Our idyllic way of life is going to be destroyed. CBC don’t seem to care about current residents, the flora and fauna, and their needs. Scandalous.”

Protest walks recently took place as part of a national day of protest organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)calling on the government to end private house building targets.

Part of the proposed layout.

Archaeological works are now complete on land for the first phase of 200 homes.

This will enable the parcel of land to come to the market for sale in the next few months. Once these first homes are built, they will take access from Stotfold Road.

Cllr Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration at Central Beds Council said: “This is wonderful news for Arlesey and Central Bedfordshire. The relief road has been a long-held desire of residents so it’s great we will soon start work on the eastern section.

“Importantly, it’s the infrastructure for hundreds of new homes, lots of new community facilities and plenty of associated development which will help Arlesey to flourish.

The location of the relief road.

“We have ambitious plans to create thriving communities in Central Bedfordshire, with quality homes and opportunities for rewarding jobs. This scheme shows how we turn our commitment into action.”

As part of the scheme, there will be cycleways and footways alongside the carriageway and a superb new foot, cycle and equestrian bridge over the busy A507.

The council says the new bridge will provide a safe walking, cycling and equestrian route linking Arlesey to the popular Etonbury Woods and local schools. Its design also features a viewing platform for people to enjoy the woodland and wildlife from a tree canopy level.

According to the council, the new cycleways, footways and bridge will encourage more active, sustainable travel which is an important priority for the council.

Further information about this scheme is available online.

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