Why do we need a plan?
What is the Local Plan?
The Local Plan sets out how Central Bedfordshire will develop over the next 20 years. It outlines the strategy for ensuring the growth that we need is delivered in the right place, and is of the right character and quality. It also ensures that growth is delivered with the supporting roads, schools and services such as health, as well as retail, leisure and community facilities.
Why the Local Plan is important?
Our prime location and excellent connectivity means that we have high growth pressures and this is the reason we need to plan for it. We need more homes and in particular, homes that you and your families can afford to buy and to rent. It means that we need to continue to create more jobs to grow the local economy and that we need to keep improving our transport networks. It also means that we need to protect and enhance what you love about where you live.
Producing a Local Plan is a priority for us for a number of reasons. The government is clear that local authorities are expected to have up-to-date plans in place to guide development within their area to plan for the infrastructure, homes and jobs that our residents need.
Failure to have an up-to-date plan would risk government intervention and a resulting loss of control of the process as well as potentially more new homes than we are currently planning for. Having an up-to-date plan in place also means that we retain control over where development should be located rather than it being delivered in an ad hoc way as a result of speculative development, sometimes without sufficient benefit to local communities.
How we’ve been developing our Local Plan?
The Plan has been informed by a number of new evidence studies. These look at issues such as population, housing, employment, retail and flooding.
We’ve also considered existing, potential and new transport infrastructure e.g. roads and railways, so that growth and transport infrastructure go hand–in-hand.
We’ve developed the Local Plan with residents’ input – through Community Planning events; the Shaping Central Bedfordshire consultation and consultation on the draft Local Plan in the summer 2017.
Listening to the community
Thousands of people had their say in our draft Local Plan where we consulted on seven options for delivering most of this growth.
From the consultations and community engagement events, we know that local communities want us to:
- make sure our roads and other transport networks can cope
- limit the impact on the countryside
- keep the character of Central Bedfordshire
- plan for homes for the older generation and affordable homes to help people get on the housing ladder
- plan for local jobs and services
- use brownfield sites