Update on Brook Cottages


13 Jun 2024

Work to remove Brook Cottages set to begin as building of new free flowing link at Black Cat roundabout continues

Update on Brook Cottages

We know from speaking to local people that many are interested in Brook Cottages, located close to the A1 north of the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire, so we would like to provide an update.

During the planning phase we assessed and consulted on a number of route options, receiving feedback from stakeholders and the public on which route would have the least impact on existing buildings and residents living close to the scheme.

It was this road design with that sought to limit the impact on people and buildings that that was put forward in our Development Consent Order application (formal planning permission) which was approved by the Secretary of State for Transport in August 2022.

Unfortunately, one of the few buildings impacted was Brook Cottages, which needs to be removed to build the new free flowing link between the A421 eastbound carriageway and the A1 northbound carriageway at Black Cat roundabout.

The next steps

Since taking ownership of Brook Cottages in August 2023, we have worked with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council conducting in-depth surveys to evaluate the historical significance and structural condition of the property.

These surveys have revealed that the structure integrity of the building has deteriorated over a number of years and as a whole is deemed to be of low historic value. As a result, we have agreed with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council that Brook Cottages should not be relocated once dismantled.

We're committed to dismantling Brook Cottages in a safe manner.

As a part of the process, we'll work alongside Historic England to preserve any items of heritage interest, ensuring they are safely removed and transported to a safe location. These items include:

  • bread oven door
  • structural beams
  • two fireplace lintels
  • internal fixtures and fittings

Work will begin on Monday 17 June and is expected to take four weeks to complete.

Dismantling Brook Cottages

The first step will be to remove the items of heritage interest by hand.

Once complete, a specialist team will remove any hazardous materials such as asbestos. The final part of the project will see machinery used to remove the thatched roof and dismantle the timber frame from top to bottom.

Once complete, we'll press ahead with the construction of the new free flowing link between the A421 eastbound carriageway and the A1 northbound carriageway.