Central Bedfordshire Local Plan given the green light by council
PUBLISHED: 14:20 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:20 27 April 2018
The future of Central Bedfordshire is beginning to take shape after the district's Local Plan was approved at a full council meeting last night.
The plan sets out how Central Beds will develop over the next 20 years and will now be submitted to the Secretary of State after councillors voted to support it.
Included in it is a new 1,500-home village east of Biggleswade and around 2,000 extra homes east of Arlesey.
To support the growth in housing, the plan promises to deliver roads, schools and services such as health – as well as retail, leisure and community facilities.
Councillor Nigel Young, responsible for regeneration at the council, said: “We are delighted that councillors have agreed that our Local Plan can be submitted.
“This is a significant step towards having a Local Plan in place that will guide development within Central Bedfordshire and generate the infrastructure, homes and jobs that our residents need.
“We have been very mindful of creating this Local Plan with residents and listening to their feedback through a number of engagement events and consultations.
“We believe we now have a robust, well-considered and well-evidenced plan that will be taken to public examination.”
The council says it will submit the plan by Monday to avoid changes to national planning policy from May that the authority says could lead to government intervention and more new homes than the 20,000 currently proposed.
CBC said a number of “minor modifications” were made to the plan – agreed by councillors following officer recommendations – after 6,275 public comments were received during the consultation period. All this will now be sent to the Planning Inspectorate to review ahead of public examination hearings.
There has been opposition and criticism to the Conservative-run authority’s plan, including from independent Potton councillor Adam Zerny.
He told the Comet last week: “While it is reassuring to see the council has finally accepted the plan was rushed and now requires hundreds of amendments, it is disappointing to see the council still doesn’t recognise many of the plots of land proposed for development are completely unsuitable.
“Clearly it will be down to the independent inspector to throw these out.”
To find out more about the Local Plan, visit centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning/policy/local-plan/growth-towns-villages.aspx.