Homes, jobs and schools - have your say on Bedford's future

The council wants your views on the Local Plan

By Clare Turner
Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:40 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:57 am

Bedford Borough Council's executive has approved the next stage of consultation for the Local Plan 2040, which is set to begin later this month.

It sets out where growth and development will take place in the borough - everything from homes and jobs to schools and infrastructure.

And now, the council is after your views with the consultation set to run over the summer.

Local Plan 2040 sets out where growth and development will take place in the borough

Some Local Plan 2030 policies are being updated earlier than normal to keep them in line with national policies, for example related to the Government’s new formula for housing growth, and the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

Based on the Government’s latest methodology, the new Local Plan needs to allocate land for a minimum of 12,500 additional new dwellings and space for around 8,650 jobs.

Last year, the council asked for your thoughts about the different kinds of location where growth might take place. These have been fed into four short-listed options focused on the urban area, the A421 corridor and existing and planned rail stations. Three of these include one or two new settlements.

More details and maps will be available on the council's website

The consultation will also ask for views on town centre and retail policies to support a flexible future for our town centres, and updated policies looking at impact on the environment, the quality of development and self and custom-build homes.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Our Local Plan 2030 was approved in January last year, but with a need to plan for the longer-term around the Oxford-Cambridge Arc we carried out a review of its policies.

“Responses to that review, which took place last summer, have fed into this consultation helping to set the timeframe to 2040 so the plan covers a further 10 years, and to identify the policy areas that the new plan should cover.

“The consultation paper will set out several proposals for where housing and employment growth could be located up to 2040, as well as looking at the future of our town centre.

“Please give us your thoughts about the future of your borough when this consultation opens later this month.”

Further details will be available ahead of the consultation beginning towards the end of June.