Local Plan

Technical supporting studies for the Local Plan

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The draft Central Bedfordshire Local Plan will be supported by a range of technical evidence studies. Some of these technical studies have already been prepared and been subject to consultation, including the Design Guide and the Environmental Framework.

Some studies are being produced as part of the Local Plan, and these will be published for consultation in draft form in July 2017. The consultations which have guided preparation of this new technical evidence are detailed below, alongside the next steps for these documents.

Site Assessment Criteria

In February 2016 we consulted on the draft technical Site Assessment Criteria which we had proposed to use for assessment of housing sites. A number of changes were made as the result of this consultation, and we put the revised Site Assessment Criteria out to consultation again in June/July 2016, alongside the technical Site Assessment Criteria for employment and gypsy and traveller sites. Some changes were made as the result of this consultation, and these technical Site Assessment Criteria are now being used to assess the sites that have been submitted through the Call for Sites.

A Site Assessment Technical Document will be published in July 2017 alongside the draft Local Plan. This will provide an update on the results of the assessment process so far for the sites submitted for housing. Results of the assessment of employment sites will be included in employment studies. No assessment of gypsy and traveller sites will be undertaken for the July 2017 consultation.

It is important to remember that the sites which come through the site assessment process will not automatically become the draft housing allocations which we include in the Local Plan. Other factors will also be used to help decide which locations we feel are the most sustainable for growth, such as the results of public consultation, the Sustainability Appraisal and the strategic growth options studies. Decisions on allocations have not yet been made, and therefore will not be subject to consultation until the Regulation 19 consultation stage in spring 2018.

Sustainability Appraisal

A sustainability appraisal must be carried out during the preparation of every local plan. The aim of a sustainability appraisal is to promote sustainable development; it does this by judging the emerging plan against the reasonable alternatives. It considers the Local Plan against environmental, economic and social objectives, highlighting potential improvements and any adverse effects which are likely to need addressing. The sustainability appraisal tests the evidence underpinning the Local Plan and ensures that the proposals put forward within the Local Plan are the most appropriate ones when compared against the reasonable alternatives.

Next Steps

We asked for your comments on our proposed approach to preparing the sustainability appraisal via our draft Scoping Report in August 2016. As a result of this consultation, some alterations were made and a final scoping report was published in October 2016. The resulting Sustainability Appraisal Report will be published for consultation in July 2016 alongside the Draft Local Plan. This will include a non-technical summary which will summarise all the key findings of the sustainability appraisal.

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Other technical reports

The technical reports going out to consultation in July 2017 alongside the Draft Local Plan include:

  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment
  • Site Assessment Technical Document (including the results of the Site Assessment process)
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (stage 1)
  • Water Cycle Study (stage 1)
  • Retail Study
  • Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (PDF 1.7MB)
  • Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) and Employment Land Review (ELR) studies
  • Sustainability Appraisal (Stage 1)
  • Central Bedfordshire and Luton Strategic Green Belt Review (stage 1 and 2)
  • Urban Capacity Study
  • Growth Options Studies
  • Viability Study (Stage 1)
  • Initial Settlement Capacity Study
  • Transport Modelling (Stage 1)
  • East West Rail Development Gain Study

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To make sure you don’t miss out on the latest developments of the plan, sign up for our email updates.

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