Final consultation on 23,000 homes across Bedford Borough launched

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Bedford Borough Council has launched its Local Plan 2040 for the next and final stage of the borough-wide consultation which includes building around 23,000 new homes.

Local Plan 2040 sets out where new homes and jobs will be located in Bedford Borough up to 2040 as part of nationally determined growth targets.

It will also include how new services and infrastructure, such as transport, schools and public open spaces will support the new communities.

The council say the aim is to make the Borough a greener, more sustainable, more attractive and prosperous place to live and work.

There will also be plans for the borough to do its part in tackling climate change by placing environmental priorities at the heart of new developments.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This Plan focuses on sustainable growth for homes, jobs, infrastructure, and the future of our town centre, and policies around climate change, setting out a vision for the Borough that is greener, more sustainable, more attractive and prosperous place to live and work.

“Following consultation in 2020 and 2021, this new draft Local Plan is now open for its final public consultation before submission, and comments are welcome until 29 July 2022.”

Housing and employment growth

The Local Plan 2040 focuses mainly on a strategy to guide housing and employment growth to meet the government’s targets, and the infrastructure needed to support it.

The Council is legally obliged to plan for around 23,000 new homes, at a rate of 1,355 per year to 2040.

The focus will be on new developments in urban areas, including suitable, previously developed ‘brownfield’ sites.

Sites just outside the urban area will then be looked at to deliver green infrastructure projects such as Bedford River Valley Park, and at new locations on the East West Rail/A421 corridor that benefit from good access to planned rail stations.

Read: All our articles about East West Rail

New settlements

Two new settlements close to new stations on the proposed East West Rail line are also planned.

These will be at the former brickworks at Kempston Hardwick and at Little Barford to the east of the Borough, where the East West Rail line is planned to cross the East Coast Main Line.

This Plan also focuses on encouraging high-skilled employment opportunities alongside housing development, with up to 26,700 jobs planned at a number of sites across the borough.

How to give your views

The Council will be hosting drop-in sessions where you can talk to the team and find out more, at:

The Howard Centre, Bedford, MK40 1UH, 11 am-2 pm

  • Saturday, 25 June
  • Wednesday, 29 June
  • Wednesday, 20 July
  • Saturday, 23 July

St Neots Library, Priory Lane, PE19 2BH, 11 am-2 pm

  • Saturday, 9 July

The consultation documents, a summary leaflet, and a set of FAQs about the consultation can also be seen online at bedford.gov.uk/LocalPlan2040.

A summary leaflet will also be delivered to every home in the Borough and you can also request information in paper format and/or a paper response form by calling 01234 718070.

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

If you have any questions not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the team can be contacted on 01234 718300 where you can leave a message and the team will come back to you, or by email at planningpolicy@bedford.gov.uk.

The consultation closes at 5 pm on Friday, 29 July.

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