Design Guide

Draft Design Guide supplementary planning document (SPD)

Consultation on our new draft Design Guide closed on 16 March 2023. 

We will consider all of the comments received through the consultation and will make changes to the document where necessary. A Consultation Statement will also be prepared to provide a summary of the comments received and how they have been taken into account. 

The final documents will then be presented to committee for adoption. We expect this to be in August 2023.  

Once adopted the SPD will replace our current Design Guide (2014). It will be a material consideration in determining applications and all development proposals be required to demonstrate that they have taken it into consideration.

A copy of the draft document and an accompanying index is available to view below. 

What is the Design Guide supplementary planning document (SPD)?

The Design Guide is an important planning policy document, that sets out the key principles and standards of design for all new developments in Central Bedfordshire. This document will help to ensure development is of the highest quality in line with national planning policy and our adopted Local Plan.

Why has the Design Guide been updated?

We already have a Design Guide that was adopted in 2014. Since then, our new Local Plan has been adopted that includes many new policy areas that influence the design of places. There have also been changes to national planning policy to strengthen the role of design in the planning process. We've also developed strategies and guidance that needs to be reflected, such as the Sustainability Plan, Vision 2050 and Strategic Plan. An update to the Design Guide is required to reflect these changes and make sure that we have up to date guidance that places a greater emphasis on sustainability.

Why is the Design Guide supplementary planning document (SPD) required?

Policy HQ1 of the adopted Local Plan sets out the requirements for high quality design in Central Bedfordshire. National planning policy also places great emphasis on the need to deliver high quality new development and requires local authorities to have up to date design guidance in place.

The draft Design Guide SPD supports the Local Plan and provides more detailed guidance on how high quality design can be achieved. It will apply to all new development in Central Bedfordshire and anyone who applies for planning permission will need to demonstrate how they have taken the guidance into account.

The new draft Design Guide will replace the current version of the Design Guide when it is adopted. This is expected in summer 2023.

What does the Design Guide supplementary planning document (SPD) include?

The Design Guide SPD sets out the key principles for creating well designed places. It contains information about the context and identity of Central Bedfordshire, including the natural and historic environment, and provides specific guidance for different types of development including homes, schools, and public spaces for example. It also covers topics such as designing streets to be safe and encourage sustainable movement, designing sustainable places that incorporate nature and climate change measures, as well as integrating public art for example. 


Draft Design Guide (PDF)
Draft Design Guide (accessible version, Word)
Statement of Representations Procedure (PDF)
Design Guide Index (PDF)
Frequently asked questions (PDF)

Draft Design Guide chapters

Chapters 1 to 4 Contents and Introduction (PDF)
Chapter 5 Context and Identity (PDF)
Chapter 6 Built Form (PDF)
Chapter 7 Movement (PDF)
Chapter 8 Nature (PDF)
Chapter 9 Public Spaces (PDF)
Chapter 10 Uses (PDF)
Chapter 11 Homes and Buildings (PDF)
Chapter 12 Resources (PDF)
Chapter 13 Case Studies (PDF)