Council to decide on Bedford's infrastructure – including 26,700 jobs

There could also be a new watersports lake

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 5:12 pm

Next week, Bedford Borough Council will consider the Local Plan 2040 for its next and final stage of consultation.

The majority of the existing planning policies are still up to date and don’t need to change – so it will mainly focus on a strategy to guide housing and employment growth to meet the government’s targets, and the infrastructure needed to support it.

While there are still areas of uncertainty around national plans including the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the precise route for East-West Rail, the council is still legally obliged to submit an updated Local Plan by January 2023.

Bedford

It also must plan for a set number of homes every year – and that figure has increased 40% from 1,355 per year to 2,040.

The plan also focuses on growth based around rail – including two new settlements close to two new rail stations on the proposed East-West Rail line at the former brickworks at Kempston Hardwick, and at Little Barford.

There’ll also be a new watersports lake at Bedford River Valley Park to the east of Bedford and the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway Park to the west of the town.

Up to 26,700 jobs are planned at a number of sites.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “If approved by the executive next week, the consultation this summer will be third on this Local Plan, and the final one before the plan is submitted to Government in January 2023.”

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