A consultation to help shape the future growth of Bedford Borough gets underway today, Monday January 13.
The Local Plan will set out how the borough will grow and develop up to 2032 by clearly defining where growth and development is sustainable.
Growth, when managed carefully and correctly delivers new housing, jobs and investment and improves the borough for current residents, future residents, businesses and visitors, the Borough Council has said.
The council will be carrying out a six-week consultation, starting today, to invite thoughts and suggestions on the level, nature and location of development and growth in the borough.
Earlier plans set out a number of future development opportunities in the borough, which are now coming to fruition.
Construction of Wixams Village One is well underway with around 650 new homes, a new school, shop and community centre already in place.
Development on the site of the former RAF Cardington so far includes around 240 new homes, a new school and a local shop
West of Bedford the new housing development is so far accompanied by new schools, a Premier Inn and a Brewers Fayre restaurant.
Bedford Borough Council is now required to produce new plans to ensure that sustainable managed growth takes place up to 2032.
Cllr Sarah Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “The Local Plan is a vitally important document which sets out how Bedford Borough will grow in the future.
“The responsibility for making sure we have space for the new homes and jobs needed by a growing population rests with us. If we don’t rise to the challenge then the decision about where growth happens will be taken out of our hands.
“Growth brings new jobs, homes, investment and opportunities to the borough but it is important it is managed correctly. That is why we are consulting with local residents to ensure when it is completed our Local Plan will allow sustainable development and growth across the borough.
“The consultation starts on today, January 13, and I would urge everyone with an interest in the future of the borough to get involved with the consultation and let us have your thoughts.”
As well as asking questions about how much growth there should be and where it should go, the consultation also invites the submission of possible development sites and asks for views on the future role of the town centre.
More detail about the consultation and how you can respond are available on the Council’s website www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2032 or by contacting the Planning Policy Team on 01234 718070.
Drop-in sessions will be happening around the borough so that residents have the opportunity to come along and talk with a council officer about the local plan.
The dates and times of the drop in sessions are:
Bromham Village Hall
Monday, January 20, 2pm-9pm
Great Barford Village Hall
Wednesday, January 22, 2pm-9pm
Harpur Suite, Bedford
Thursday, January 23, 5pm-9pm
Clapham Village Hall
Friday, January 24, 2pm-9pm
Sharnbrook Village Hall
Monday, January 27, 11am-3pm
Tuesday, January 28, 7pm-9.30pm
Keysoe Village Hall
Wednesday, January 29, 2pm-9pm
Harpur Centre, Bedford, by the spiral
Thursday, January 30, 8am-5pm
Wootton New Life Methodist Church Hall
Monday, February 3, 2pm-9pm.