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Local Plans Update
6 February 2018

Local Planning Authorities across the country have been progressing Local Plan preparations to ensure that they meet the Government’s end of March deadline for submission of Local Plans to the Secretary of State and thereby retain control of their housing figures.

In this region, Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough Councils have recently published their Submission Draft Local Plans for the final consultation exercise.

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC)

CBC has issued the submission draft of the Local Plan following the executive meeting on 9th March 2018. This plans for 39,350 new homes across the district (including Luton’s unmet need of 7,350). The proposal has planned for 24,000 new jobs across the district focusing on building upon the existing and emerging economic strengths in key sectors.

The report outlines the proposed strategic site allocations where a large proportion of the new development will be focused. Each strategic site will deliver a mixture of housing types and tenures, as well as providing a range of new services and facilities. The proposed strategic allocations are set out below:

New Villages

  • Marston Vale (up to 5,000 homes)
  • East of Biggleswade (around 1,500 homes)

Town Extensions

  • North of Luton (around 4,000 homes)
  • East of Arlesey  (around 2,000 homes)

52 small and medium sites for residential development were allocated as non-strategic allocations within the Plan.

The final public consultation period is underway and will close on 22nd February. Representations made during this consultation will be submitted to the Planning Inspector to review before assessing the Local Plan.

Bedford Borough Council (BBC)

BBC’s Local Plan was presented to the Executive Council on 10th January. The report for the executive committee has been published and outlines the key points raised within the Plan, including housing allocation requirements in order to meet the need of the Council.

Bedford Borough’s housing need has been assessed as 19,000 dwellings. So far, 11,183 dwellings have been completed or have current planning consent. The Council therefore has allocated the remaining 7,817 of the required need.

The focus for growth remains the urban areas, suitable edge of urban sites and the larger villages where community facilities are available or can be provided or improved to serve new housing areas:

  • Urban Areas: 2,420
  • Brownfield Sites: 1,000
  • Colworth Garden Village: 2,500
  • Group 1 Villages: 1,500
  • Group 2 Villages: 150 – 300

The allocations within villages have been amended to reflect recent growth. The villages of Shortstown, Wilstead, Wixams and Wootton which have undergone significant development recently have not been allocated new developments.

Bromham, Clapham and Great Barford will allocate development sites within their Neighbourhood Plan to meet the level of growth required. Group 2 villages of Carlton, Harrold, Milton Ernest, Oakley and Turvey are in the process of developing their Neighbourhood Plans and they will allocate land for their requirements. A policy has been included to ensure these Neighbourhood Plans are submitted to the Council by December 2019 or twelve months after the adoption of the Local Plan 2035, whichever is the later.

The public consultation commenced on 22nd January and will close on 5th March. 

Should you wish to know more about any of the above Local Plans or any other local planning authority, please get in touch with Nicola Wheatcroft, Senior Planner at Robinson & Hall.

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