Mill View Countryside Park within the community Forest of Marston Vale
Working with Jo Cowen Architects, WSP Engineers, Aspect Ecology and Bidwells Planning Consultants for Present Made, HED has successfully led and delivered the reserved matters planning application for a brand new 25ha countryside park within Houghton Conquest in Central Bedfordshire.
Present Made set out a clear brief with a vision to create a ‘Forest Community’, with the countryside park being key to the quality of life and setting for the new community at Mill View – a proposed residential development with outline planning permission for 650 homes, a new school and play spaces. Running trails, gentle walking routes, and a woodland activity area will allow flexible uses across the park, supporting the natural growth and wellbeing of existing and new communities.
Over 37% of the park will be planted with trees, offering a combination of broadleaved woodland, grasslands, and ‘parkland’ tree planting. A diversity of tree species are chosen for climate resilience, value to native wildlife, as well as for seasonal interest across the park.
HED worked closely with representatives from Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and the Forest of Marston Vale Trust to ensure that the park would deliver on the aspirations of the Community Forest of Marston Vale and contribute to the needs set out by the council for the local area. The country park forms a protective ‘rural edge’ between the new developments of Mill View and the Wixams to the north and the existing communities within Houghton Conquest to the south.
The Forest of Marston Vale – of which the new countryside park will form an important part - is one of 12 Community Forests in the UK, with the following aims:
- Support regeneration and growth - Making towns and cities more attractive places in which to live, work and do business; attracting new investment and creating jobs
- Support local communities - Harnessing the enthusiasm, commitment, and knowledge of local people; helping them improve their local area and enhancing health and wellbeing
- Creating Better Places – Enriching and enhancing biodiversity the environment, creating new facilities for recreation and leisure and making our towns and cities more sustainable
For more information, visit https://www.communityforest-trust.org/