Today, Bedford Borough Council has launched its Local Plan 2040 for the next and final stage of consultation.
The Local Plan 2040 sets out where new homes and jobs will be located in Bedford Borough up to 2040, in order to meet nationally determined growth targets.
It also plans for new services and infrastructure, including transport, schools and public open spaces to support sustainable communities.
By 2040, the Borough will have become a greener, more sustainable, more attractive and prosperous place to live and work. Tackling climate change and adapting to and mitigating its effects will be at the heart of new development.
The Local Plan 2040 focuses mainly on a strategy to guide housing and employment growth to meet the government’s targets, and the infrastructure needed to support it. The Council is legally obliged to plan for a set number of homes: 1,355 per year to 2040.
The Plan’s Strategy focuses new development first in the urban area, including suitable, previously developed ‘brownfield’ sites.
The Plan then focuses on growth at sites just outside the urban area that will help to deliver green infrastructure projects such as Bedford River Valley Park, and at new locations on the East West Rail / A421 corridor that benefit from good access to planned rail stations.
The Plan proposes two new settlements close to new rail stations on the proposed East West Rail line; at the former brickworks at Kempston Hardwick and at Little Barford to the east of the Borough, where the East West Rail line is planned to cross the East Coast Main Line.
This Plan also focuses on encouraging high-skilled employment opportunities alongside housing development, with up to 26,700 jobs planned at a number of sites across the borough.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said “This Plan focuses on sustainable growth for homes, jobs, infrastructure, and the future of our town centre, and policies around climate change, setting out a vision for the Borough that is greener, more sustainable, more attractive and prosperous place to live and work.
“Following consultation in 2020 and 2021, this new draft Local Plan is now open for its final public consultation before submission, and comments are welcome until 29 July 2022.
“Please visit www.bedford.gov.uk/LocalPlan2040 to find out more and have your say.”
The Council will be hosting drop in sessions where you can talk to the team and find out more, at:
The Howard Centre, Bedford, MK40 1UH from 11am-2pm on: Saturday 25 June, Wednesday 29 June, Wednesday 20 July and Saturday 23 July.
St Neots Library, Priory Lane, PE19 2BH from 11am-2pm on Saturday 9 July.
The consultation documents, a summary leaflet, and a set of FAQs about the consultation can be seen at www.bedford.gov.uk/LocalPlan2040. The summary leaflet will be delivered to every home in the Borough and you can also request information in paper format and/or a paper response form by calling 01234 718070.
You can also respond by post to Planning Policy Team, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, MK42 9AP.
If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ, the team can be contacted on 01234 718300 where you can leave a message and the team will come back to you, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 29 July.