Environmental Framework Consultation

The council is consulting on the Environmental Framework, a document that will play an important role in guiding how the council approaches environmental issues and which brings together a range of previous studies, assessments and guidance documents.

Throughout the Framework we have identified questions which we need your feedback on. Your answers will help us develop environmental policies as part of the Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire, and identify areas where we may need to gather further information.

Completing the questionnaire

The consultation questions refer to the Framework. There are some general questions at the beginning, and then questions relating to specific topics.

Not all topics in the Framework have questions. This is not because we don’t think that these topics are important: it may be that national policy hasn’t changed recently in relation to these topics, so previous policy approaches are still valid. Likewise, some topics may not need specific policies in the Local Plan.

If you have comments on areas not covered by the consultation questions, the last question provides the opportunity to make any other comments.

1. Evaluating the environmental value of land

These questions refer to the 'Delivering National Policy' section of the Environmental Framework document (page 7). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework notes that the allocation of land for development should favour land of lesser environmental value.

Q1a
Q1b
Q1c Are there any elements of environmental value that we have not assessed in the Environmental Framework?
 
 

2. Improving environmental standards and green features in development

These questions refer to the 'Delivering National Policy' section of the Environmental Framework document (page 7). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

As a council, we are keen to embrace innovation and ensure that development delivers the best outcomes for Central Bedfordshire. A key challenge is working with developers to deliver projects that go beyond the minimum statutory environmental standards.  

Q2a
Q2b
Q2c Which 'green' features would you most like to see in new developments? (please tick up to 3 choices below)
 
 
 
 
 

3. Reflecting the importance of the environment in planning policy

This question refers to the section of the Environmental Framework titled 'Why is the environment important for Central Bedfordshire?' (pages 9-15). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q3 How should the importance of the environment to Central Bedfordshire's businesses and residents be reflected in the future Central Bedfordshire Local Plan?

4. Landscape designations

These questions refer to the 'Landscape' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 21-23). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q4a Should the council define what a valued landscape is?
 
Q4b Should the council designate locally valued landscapes?
 
Q4c Should designations include different standards of development for areas not designated for landscape value?
 
Q4d Should the council (please select one):
 

5. Mapping tranquillity

These questions refer to the 'Tranquillity' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 24-26). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Paragraph 123 of the government's National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities, such as Central Bedfordshire Council, to identify and protect areas that are valued for their tranquillity. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) have produced tranquillity studies at a national scale.

Q5a Should the council include a policy on protecting areas of tranquillity in its Local Plan?
 
Q5b If more detailed tranquillity mapping surveys, such as those produced by the CPRE, are carried out for Central Bedfordshire, what scale should these focus on? (please select one)
 
Q5c

6. Biodiversity

These questions refer to the 'Biodiversity' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 29-36). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q6a
Q6b
Q6c

7. Trees

These questions refer to the 'Trees' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 37-39). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q7a Where do you feel the council should target more tree planting? (please select one)
 
 
 
   
 
Q7b
Q7c

8. Protecting recreational open spaces

These questions refer to the 'Recreational Open Space' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 40-43). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

The council's Leisure Strategy standards (these are the documents guiding our redevelopment of Central Bedfordshire's leisure centres and recreational areas) are based on an evaluation of existing recreational open spaces. It is therefore important that these open spaces are protected.

The National Planning Policy Framework protects existing open space, unless it is shown to be surplus to requirements. This means that any open space, if developed upon, should be replaced by at least equivalent provision, or replaced by alternative provision which is needed more than the open space lost.

We would expect this protection to cover open spaces identified in the Leisure Strategy, and those created through subsequently built developments.

Open spaces named in the council's Leisure Strategy

Q8a Are existing open spaces identified in the Leisure Strategy adequately protected?
 
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
Q8b If the open spaces identified in the Leisure Strategy are not adequately protected, should the council designate them as 'Local Green Spaces' (these are defined by the government in paragraphs 76 and 77 of the National Planning Policy Framework)?

This would provide them with special protection as spaces that are particularly important to local communities, and would prevent them from being developed except in very special circumstances.
 

Open spaces not named in the council's Leisure Strategy

These questions refer to the 'Recreational Open Space' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 40-43). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q8c
Q8d Should the council use the Government's 'Local Green Space' designation to protect these sites?
 
 
   
 
   
 
   

9. Managing the Chilterns and their setting

These questions refer to the 'Chilterns AONB' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 48-50). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q9a
Q9b

The Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) Board has produced guidelines to safeguard the "setting" of the Chilterns AONB (the area immediately around, but not within, the AONB) .

Q9c Should the council try to define and map this zone, bearing in mind that the impact of development would vary dependent on the type and scale of development?
 

10. Habitat protection and enhancement across the Greensand Ridge Nature Improvement Area

These questions refer to the 'Greensand Ridge NIA' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 51-53). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q10a Should the council specify which types of development are appropriate within the Greensand Ridge Nature Improvement Area?
 
Q10b
 
Q10d Should development within the Greensand Ridge Nature Improvement Area be required to meet different standards of habitat protection/enhancement to the rest of Central Bedfordshire?
 
Q10e

11. Increasing woodland cover across the Forest of Marston Vale

This question refers to the section of the Environmental Framework document titled 'The Forest of Marston Vale' (pages 54-55). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q11

12. Climate change priorities

This question refers to page 58 of the Environmental Framework document, which is part of the 'Climate Change and Sustainability' section. Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q12

13. Risks to Central Bedfordshire from climate change

This question refers to the 'Local Climate Change Risk Assessment' section of the Environmental Framework document (page 59). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q13a
Q13b

14. Managing the risk of flooding

This question refers to the 'Managing flood risk' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 67-69). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q14 What should be the council's priorities when it comes to managing the risk of flooding now and in the future? (select up to 5)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

15. Use of sustainable drainage systems

This question refers to the 'Sustainable Drainage' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 70-72). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

National policy requires sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to be included as standard in major developments (for example, 10 homes or more).

Q15a Should the council require SuDS to be included as standard in all developments (ie. minor and major, residential and commercial)?
 
Q15b Should SuDS be used to provide more than just flood risk management (For example, to clean runoff water from developments, and provide amenity and biodiversity benefits)?
 
 

16. Reducing our water usage

These questions refer to the 'Water Efficiency' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 73-74). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answers.

Q16a Central Bedfordshire is an area of high water stress and is at risk of water shortages. Should new developments therefore be water efficient?
 
Q16b Should new developments be required to achieve a water efficiency standard going beyond that stated in the Government's Building Regulations?
 
Q16c If yes, which water efficiency standard should we use?
 

17. Energy efficiency in new developments

This question refers to the 'Energy and buildings' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 75-76). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q17a Should new developments be energy efficient and help to reduce carbon emissions?
 
Q17b National policy allows councils to set targets for renewable energy generation from new developments.

Should the Council be flexible and allow carbon emission reduction through both energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies?
 
 
 

18. Generating renewable energy in Central Bedfordshire

This question refers to the 'Renewable Energy Generation' section of the Environmental Framework document (pages 77-81). Please use this part of the Framework to inform your answer.

Q18a Which renewable energy source do you think is best for Central Bedfordshire? (please select one)
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
Q18b

19. Any other comments

Q19

About You
This section of the survey is about you. The following information will help us when considering
your opinions and to make sure that we're getting the views of all members of the community. The
answers will not be used to identify any individual. You can read more about why we ask these
questions on our website.

Q20 Are you responding as an organisation or an individual?
Q21
Q22 Are you male or female
Q23 What is your age?
Q24 Do you consider yourself to be disabled?

Under the Equality Act 2010 a person is considered to have a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a sustained and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Q25 To which of these groups do you consider you belong?
 

Thank you for completing this survey.

Please return your completed form to:
FREEPOST RSJS GBBZ SRZT (you do not need a stamp)
Environmental Framework consultation
Central Bedfordshire Council
Priory House, Monks Walk
Chicksands, Shefford
SG17 5TQ

Data Protection Act 1998

Please note that your personal details supplied on this form will be held and/or computerised by Central Bedfordshire Council for the purpose of the
consultation on the Environmental Framework. The information collected may be disclosed to officers and members of central Bedfordshire
Council and its partners involved in this consultation. Summarised information from the forms may be published, but no individual details will be
disclosed under these circumstances. Your personal details will be safeguarded and will not be divulged to any other individuals or organisations
for any other purposes.

Information classification: Protected when complete

 
   
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