The Local Plan (pre-submission)
Our aim is to deliver the growth in a way that respects and maintains the character of Central Bedfordshire and delivers infrastructure and services to support it.
Alongside the growth, we will plan for jobs, services, transport infrastructure and enhancing access to the countryside. Download a full copy of the Local Plan (PDF 16.2MB) to find out more.
We are planning for up to 20,000 new homes. In the draft Local Plan that we consulted on in the summer 2017 we were proposing between 20,000 – 30,000 new homes. We know from the feedback that there was a lot of concern about delivering the higher end of this range.
We believe we can deliver up to 20,000 new homes over the next 20 years and this level of growth is sustainable. This is in addition to the 23,000 homes that are already allocated or have planning permission.
The number of homes we need to plan for is calculated using a standard national approach. The government recently consulted on changes to this approach that, if implemented in March 2018, would see an increase in the number of homes we need to deliver in Central Bedfordshire.
We are planning to deliver this housing growth through:
- creating one new village to the east of Biggleswade
- creating up to four new villages in Marston Moretaine
- a sustainable new extension north of Luton
- a sustainable new extension east of Arlesey
- small to medium growth in existing towns villages, but only where services can support it
You can read more about these on the next few pages.
In the draft Local Plan that we consulted on in the summer 2017 we also proposed more new villages at Biggleswade, new villages at Aspley Guise, a new market town in Tempsford and expanding Luton to the west. These are not included in this Local Plan. We believe these locations do have potential for growth but, as we said in the previous consultation, they are dependent on critical infrastructure (e.g. East-West Rail) to support them and you agreed with us in your feedback.
The plan includes a range of different homes to rent and buy with a mixture of sizes including family homes, two bedroom homes, apartments and bungalows. To help people get on the housing ladder, this will include 30% to be provided as lower cost options, such as affordable rent and shared ownership.
You can read more detail about the planned growth on the following pages.
The map below shows the growth locations allocated in the Plan.
The Plan provides for a minimum of 24,000 jobs. These will be delivered through a range of employment opportunities in the growth locations and through the following strategic employment sites:
- RAF Henlow – mixed use (PDF 2.6MB)
- J11a of M1 (PDF 3.6MB)
- J13 of M1 (PDF 3MB)
- Biggleswade south roundabout on A1 (PDF 2.3MB)
Existing and potential new roads and rail have already informed the plan, such as the M1-A6 link road and the Ridgmont Station upgrade.
We will continue to engage with central government to seek improvements to the A1 and A421 to support growth. The proposed East-West Railway and the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway are also key to further sustainable development in our area.
Services and facilities
Larger developments include requirements for road improvements, new shops, community facilities, leisure facilities, schools and integrated health and care hubs, where the NHS can provide Integrated Health and Care Hubs.
Small and medium developments in and around towns and villages are only included where this can be supported by existing services, or where the development will enhance these services and where there is good accessibility.
You told us to use brownfield sites (this is land that has previously been developed). One of the options does this but unfortunately supply of brownfield land in Central Bedfordshire is very limited and there isn’t enough to deliver all of the growth that we require.
We know how important the countryside and rural character of Central Bedfordshire is. Whilst we recognise that the number of homes we’re required to build is significant, in total these homes – together with those that already have planning permission – would equate to new development on only 3% of Central Bedfordshire land.
If the planned number of homes are delivered, 85% of Central Bedfordshire will still be countryside.
The plan includes:
- more open and green spaces to do things like take the dog for a walk, have a kickabout, play with your kids, explore the countryside, exercise, have a picnic or just continue enjoying the natural character of where you live
- clear separation between existing towns and villages and the new developments, so they keep their own identities and rural character. These are shown as Important Countryside Gaps on the map
- more plants and trees, not less – plus protection and enhancement for important countryside areas like the Greensand Ridge, the Forest of Marston Vale, the Ivel Valley and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)