Tim Hill

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Elstow, Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick. Learn more

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Outrage over Attempt to Topple Historic Stewartby Chimneys

by timhill on 3 July, 2008

Just seven months after the historic chimneys at the Stewartby Brickworks site were given listed building status, Landowner Hanson is seeking to demolish them as part of plans for a new 1200-home development.   A planning application has been submitted to Bedford Borough Council for the proposed development, which would more than triple the size of Stewartby village and involve the demolition of the four remaining Grade II listed chimneys.  I believe the chimneys must be preserved as a heritage site of international importance. These are the last of over 100 chimneys in the Marston Vale, and have only recently been awarded the formal status they deserve as listed buildings.  A museum and heritage centre should also be included as part of any new development. This has been done by other brick-making companies in other parts of the world, so it should know that there is no need to consign history to the dustbin in the rush to maximise land values.We have also attacked the details of the planned new development, which propose tall, dense housing out of keeping with the distinctive character of Stewartby.  They would also see the village more than triple in size.  My friend Cllr Judith Cunningham has said: “The proposed development is far too large, and would swamp the existing village.  The plans for the housing must also be re-drawn to reflect the special character and style of Stewartby.”  Judith has also criticised the proposed location for some of the new housing: “It is absurd to build houses on the west side of the railway line, cut off from the rest of the village, alongside the landfill site.” 

NOTES 

·         Hanson Building Products has submitted a planning application to Bedford Borough Council for the demolition of all buildings and structures within the Stewartby Brickworks site, including the remaining four grade II listed chimneys and two grade II listed brick kilns.  An application has been submitted alongside this for the construction of a new development on the site including 1200 homes.

·         A copy of the Government’s decision to give the chimneys and the kilns listed building status, which includes a brief history of the site, can be read here: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/GetResource.aspx?file=2%20kilns%204%20chimneys%20at%20Stewartby%20Brickworks%20Stewartby.pdf ·         On April 16th,  Bedford Borough Council approved its Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan, which sets the framework for development in the Borough until 2021.  This document states that 610 new homes, only just over half the number proposed by Hanson for the brickworks site, are to be built in Stewartby during this period at a site already identified.

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