Local Plan 2040 Consultation Begins

The next phase of the Local Plan 2040 consultation has started and Bedford Borough Council wants to hear from you.

Local Plans set out where growth and development will take place- everything from homes and jobs to schools and infrastructure.

While the Local Plan 2030 was approved in January 2020, there are some policies that need updating earlier than normal in order 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.

This consultation is asking for your views on a development strategy to 2040 and where growth can be delivered.

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 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 are available on the Council’s website at www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2040

This consultation is also asking for views on town centre and retail policies, and updated policies looking at impact on the environment, the quality of development and self and custom build homes.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said

“Please take a look at the information on our website, and take this opportunity to have your say on the future of your Borough.

“We are asking for your views on where houses and jobs should be, policies around the future of town centres and much more. This won’t be your last opportunity to have your say on the Local Plan 2040, but we want to hear from as many people as possible to help us plan for the future together.”

The full consultation paper, a summary leaflet, and a set of FAQs about the paper can be seen at www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2040. The summary leaflet will be delivered to every home in the Borough and you can also request a paper copy of the consultation document and/or response form by calling 01234 718070.

You can have your say online at www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2040. The consultation papers available there use a new system, which enables people to mark-up specific paragraphs with their comments, save a draft and come back to it, and to keep a copy for their own records.

You can also respond by post to Planning Policy Team, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, MK42 9AP.

Drop in sessions will be taking place at The Howard Centre, Bedford (by the indoor entrance to TKMaxx) between 11am and 2pm on Wednesday 14 July, Saturday 17 July, Wednesday 28 July, Sunday 1 August, Wednesday 11 August and Saturday 21 August.

If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ, the team can be contacted on 01234 718300 where you can leave a message and the team will come back to you.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 3 September.