Central Bedfordshire Council has adopted the ‘Central Bedfordshire Local Plan 2015-2035’ at this evening’s (22 July 2021) full council meeting. This follows public consultation, public hearings, and a lengthy examination by independent Planning Inspectors.
The Local Plan sets out how and where new homes, jobs and infrastructure will be delivered in Central Bedfordshire. The Council said that it outlines the strategy for ensuring that growth is “delivered in the right place” and is of the “right character and quality”.
It is a government requirement for every local authority to have a Local Plan. The Council said that Central Bedfordshire’s prime location and transport connectivity means that it has particularly high growth pressures.
The Local Plan seeks to ensure a range of different homes are provided, and includes a policy requirement for 30% to be provided as lower cost options, such as affordable rent and shared ownership.
As well as planning for approximately 39,350 homes, the Local Plan sets out plans for new and expanded employment sites, which will create a “minimum of 24,000 new jobs”.
The Local Plan also sets out the requirements for supporting roads, schools, retail, leisure and community facilities, such as new country parks.
Cllr Kevin Collins, executive member for planning and regeneration said:
“This is great news for residents and businesses across Central Bedfordshire, and I want to thank the thousands of participants who helped shape the plan over the last few years.
“Producing a Local Plan that balances the conflicting pressures of ambitious government targets for new homes and jobs, whilst protecting the countryside and green belt isn’t easy.
“We need to plan for homes and jobs, and the Local Plan gives us greater control over where they will be built and helps to ensure they have the associated infrastructure to make them great places to live.”