Bedford Borough Council’s Local Plan review Image: ceebeestock AdobeStock_207781879

Executive Review Paper could go out for consultation this summer

The next Bedford Borough Council Executive meeting is set to discuss a Local Plan Review. Local Plans set out where growth and development will take place- everything from houses and jobs to schools and infrastructure.

The Council already has a Local Plan in place for up to 2030, and is now looking beyond that period.

The government requires councils to plan for a certain level of housing growth in their local plans. As part of the next Local Plan, allocations may need to be made for between 5,000 and 15,000 additional new dwellings over a plan period up to 2040.

The exact number will depend on forthcoming revisions to the Government’s housing-need formula. Mayor Dave Hodgson said

“This report going to Executive sets out the possible scope of our Local Plan review and, if approved, the consultation this summer will be a great opportunity for the public to have their say right at the start of this process.

“This ‘Issues & Options’ consultation really is looking at the very basics – how long a time period should the next local plan cover, what do you want us to look at as part of the plan, and more.”

New Local Plan will also look at policies around climate change and protecting the natural environment

If approved by Executive, the ‘Local Plan Review – Issues & Options’ paper will go out for consultation this summer asking people for their views.

The Council said that the review and consultation will mainly focus on developing a strategy to guide housing and employment growth and identify the infrastructure needed to support it.

Adding that it will also look at policies around climate change, protecting the natural environment, quality of development, self and custom build homes, open space in new developments, and policies around the town centre.

The town centre was the subject of a separate consultation last year, which has led to the development of a draft Town Centre Plan. This will form part of the background to the Local Plan review and people will have another chance to have their say in this consultation.

This process will also open a ‘call for sites’ where people can put forward land to be allocated as a site for development in the next local plan.

The papers are available on the Council’s website.