The preparation of the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 is underway following a requirement in the current adopted plan for an early review.
The first Issues and Options consultation took place during July to September 2020 and the Council consulted on the Local Plan 2040 Draft Plan: Strategy options and draft policies document from June to September 2021.
The Councils Executive resolved to progress the Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission at their meeting on 27 April 2022.
The proposed spatial strategy focuses growth as follows:
- first in the urban area with all suitable sites within the urban area boundary being allocated
- at two sites just outside the urban area that will help to deliver strategic green infrastructure projects alongside development
(Bedford River Valley Park with a water sports lake and a section of the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway Park)
- at new growth locations focussed on the A421 transport corridor and with the potential for rail-based growth, particularly in the
area south of Bedford and at Little Barford.
The Council consider that the planning of a new settlement at Little Barford presents an opportunity to maximise the benefits associated with such a well connected location. A new rail station at the junction of the East West Rail and East Coast Main Line offers excellent sustainability credentials allowing the settlement to be planned in a way that makes walking and cycling to the station the mode of choice.
New employment sites are included in the plan to provide new jobs alongside new housing. Provision is made for a range of different types of employment to recognise Bedford’s location at the centre of the Ox Cam Arc as well as its advantageous location on the A421, with good connections to the A1 and M1.
The next consultation date is currently scheduled to run from 15th June to 29th July 2022.
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