The Local Plan 2030 sets out proposals for growth and development in the borough over the next decade and was passed by Bedford Borough Council.
As well as new homes, it also includes provision for jobs and the development of schools, transport and shops to support these new communities.
The approval followed a number of modifications by planning inspectors, as part of the statutory Local Plan Process, which were approved by the meeting of full council.
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Specifically, one of these modifications requires the council to review the plan and either update it or issue a new one within three years, in response to longer-term projects such as the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The approval of this local plan means that as a council we have the power to deliver housing and growth in accordance with our vision.
"This local plan has been through public consultation, review and examination and my thanks go to everyone who took part.”