Central Bedfordshire Council recently announced Balfour Beatty will build the Woodside link road between the Woodside Industrial Estate in Dunstable and the new M1 Junction at Chalton.
We are concerned about the funding of this road. The road will cost £42 million. The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) will contribute £20 million to the cost and the Government £5 million. This leaves a funding shortfall of £17 million.
In the Council’s Infrastructure Schedule Technical Note October 2014, see page 19 at http://tinyurl.com/mzsabyk , produced to support its recently failed Development Strategy the £17 million shortfall was going to be funded by the Houghton Regis Development Consortium through either a Section 106 agreement or the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Currently the Council does not have an approved CIL scheme.
We have learnt from studying the recent judgement of Mr Justice Holgate made on the 19th of December 2014 on Luton Borough Council v Central Bedfordshire Council and the Houghton Regis Development Consortium, see paragraph 39 at http://tinyurl.com/lfs93t5 , that the Consortium will not be making ‘any direct financial contribution’ to the Woodside Link road.
We are concerned the £17 million shortfall will have to be met by Council Tax payers, reductions in planned infrastructure and lowering of the quality of the built environment across the Houghton Regis North Development. We wonder why the Council decided to go ahead with the Woodside Link road knowing the consortium will not be providing funding rather than delaying its construction until other funding could be found?