Preserve Bow Brickhill

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Preserve Bow Brickhill (PBB), the organisation leading opposition to a southern route for the proposed Bedford to Milton Keynes canal, has refused to take part in a 'citizens' jury' organised by The Waterways Trust.

The Waterways Trust is planning a three-day event starting at the end of November and involving 16 'jurors' and about a dozen 'witnesses'. The canal project is still at a preliminary stage, with no route fixed and no firm proposals for raising the necessary funding. Milton Keynes Council has given tentative support for a northern route passing through areas of the city some of which are already scheduled for the development. PBB is objecting to any southern route through Bow Brickhill parish on the grounds that it would inevitably cause substantial building development between the village and Milton Keynes - the area that PBB was formed to protect and on which there are no plans for development.

PBB Chairman Peter Lousada said, "The Waterways Trust assumes that the canal project will go ahead. Yet there is no funding and no planning consent for the 25,000 dwellings that would probably be necessary along the route. PBB will not be taking part in the 'citizen's jury' because we regard the project as totally biased. Of the fifteen witnesses invited, two or three could be described as opposing the proposition but the others will be in favour of the project, principally because most of them are employed by or associated with British Waterways.

"British Waterways has just announced a partnership with two commercial companies to develop UK canalside properties, proving that it's firmly in the future property game. So we shall continue to oppose the canal because if the southern route were adopted it would lead to unwelcome linear development on the land that PBB was formed to protect and on the rest of the route through other villages. The 'citizen's jury' seems to be a PR exercise rather than genuine opinion gathering and its conclusions will be biased and have no value."


Another lively public meeting is expected at Bow Brickhill when Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust presents its proposals to the village on 24 January.  

Preserve Bow Brickhill (PBB), the organisation set up to fend off inappropriate development in the area, will be objecting to proposals to route the canal through the village on the grounds that it would lead to unwanted building development.  Peter Lousada, PBB's chairman said: "A rural canal providing an extension to the Milton Keynes linear park would be welcome here in Bow Brickhill.  

It is clear from the feasibility summary from British Waterways that the linear water park would be home to waterside housing, restaurants, hotels, offices, shops, sporting facilities and marinas.  We're not talking about a peaceful 'Wind in the Willows' environment but large-scale urban-style development which would be necessary to provide funding for the project."

PBB was formed in March last year when angry residents attending a public meeting vowed to fight plans to develop the same land affected by the canal proposal, between the new city and the village.


Local residents, incensed by massive development proposals at Bow Brickhill from out-of-town get-rich-quick land speculators, have formed a group to mount resistance to changes in the Local Plan.

‘Preserve Bow Brickhill’ (PBB) held its inaugural meeting earlier this month.Those present agreed to defend the parish of Bow Brickhill from inappropriate or unwelcome development of all sorts and especially from the current objection  to the Local Plan.

Peter Lousada, chairman of PBB said, “The Local Plan has been prepared with great thoroughness and consultation and includes a small development of 25 houses within the village. Development on such a scale is to be expected within an established community like ours. 

“However the speculators objecting to the plan propose instead to add another 2,450 houses plus an industrial estate. We’re committed to defending Bow Brickhill against this opportunistic adventuring which has nothing to do with sustainable development, but everything to do with money.”    

For more information contact Sue Malleson  Tel 01908 265774