Mayor's new plan slammed as total failure

Mayor Dave Hodgson's new Local Plan is a '˜catastrophic failure of good management and responsibility', said opposition Tories this week.

They say the mayor has ducked responsibility by reducing the deadline for his revised plan from 2035 to 2030.

Shortly after the plan was launched in May, it was suddenly left 2,500 homes short when the proposals for a new ‘Garden Village’ collapsed at Colworth near Sharnbrook.

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The garden village was the preference of the mayor’s Liberal Democrat and Labour executives, say Tories.

“The mayor has now forced 500 of those houses on Sharnbrook and shortened the Local Plan period from 2035 to 2030, making Bedford certain to have thousands more homes pushed on us by the Oxford – Cambridge Arc initiative that the mayor secretly signed up to,” said Councillor Alison Foster, pictured.

She added: “The Mayor’s new Local Plan is a catastrophic failure of good management and responsibility. Instead of prioritising the properly planned expansion of Bedford he pursued Colworth which would have been a disaster.

“Now over half the houses will be on green field sites in the rural areas. Sharnbrook, Great Barford, Bromham and Clapham will each 
have 500 homes dumped 
on them, changing the 
dynamic and character of these communities.”

Councillor Foster said this equates to a ‘dereliction of duty’ that could put the borough’s future at risk.