Luton considers Judicial Review over Central Beds' newly approved M1-A6 link road

A case to take plans for a controversial road scheme in Central Bedfordshire to Judicial Review is being considered by Luton Borough Council ahead of next month’s deadline.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 3:02 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 3:02 pm

The £64.6m M1/A6 link road north of Luton has been approved by Central Bedfordshire Council.

It would connect junction 11a of the motorway to the A6 Barton Road.

The borough council has until February 19th to indicate whether it will proceed with a legal challenge to the development, which runs through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The newly approved M1-A6 link road will lie just north of Luton

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government decided not to call in the project, which was opposed by conservation groups, several local authorities and many local residents.

At a full council meeting, Liberal Democrat Wigmore councillor Peter Chapman asked: “In view of the decision by CBC to go ahead with the M1/A6 link road, ignoring our representations, does the council intend to call for a judicial review?”

Labour South councillor Paul Castleman replied: “Council officers and I have sought legal advice on the matter and we will be setting out a report around the issues to the executive to make a final decision.

“I can assure members we are taking all the necessary steps now to set out our grounds for a judicial review.

“This is in a further pre-action protocol letter to ensure we meet the timescales, should the decision of the executive be to go ahead with a legal challenge.

“You can appreciate there is an awful lot of work to be done before then.”

Councillor Chapman told the council: “We’ll support that because of the effects to so many areas north of Luton should that go ahead, and because of the attitude of Central Bedfordshire Council towards Luton Borough Council.

“I just feel it’s ridiculous it’s being done in isolation from anything between the A6 and the A505.

“For those people living on New Bedford Road, Old Bedford Road and Stockingstone Road the whole scheme really causes concern, and I am hoping you are going to do it.”

The route was included in CBC’s Local Plan, and helps meet its obligation to supply some housing provision for Luton.

The local authority said that land north of Luton “adjoins the urban area and provides the most sustainable location for delivering homes to contribute towards the town’s unmet housing needs”.