Bedford Local Plan at Executive for Submission Tonight – 5 years knocked off plan period

Trying to hit the deadline for being examined under the old OAN.

On May 10th 2018 Executive considered the responses to the consultation. A key allocation in the published plan was a new garden village around Colworth Park close to Santa Pod Raceway. It relied upon agreement between the garden village promoter and the operator of the raceway to deliver a range of noise mitigation measures. The response from the operator of the raceway to the consultation explained that it had not been possible to reach such an agreement and for that reason they could not support the proposal. Executive resolved not to recommend to Full Council that the Local Plan 2035 be submitted to the Secretary of State for formal examination, but instead to instruct Officers to carry out additional work on the evidence base, including a review of reasonable alternative options….

The main changes were to the period covered by the plan from 2015-2035 to 2015-2030 and consequent amendments to numbers throughout the plan; the removal of the garden village policies 26 and 27; the introduction of a development allocation for 500 dwellings at Sharnbrook Key Service Centre which had previously not been included as a result of the close proximity of the garden village allocation,
and a development allocation of between 25-50 dwellings at Willington where the availability of school places is no longer a constraint….

The main issues raised in the two consultations can be summarised as follows.
• The time period covered by the local plan.
Some objectors consider that the revised plan period is not consistent with Government guidance which says that plans should be ‘drawn
up over an appropriate timescale, preferably a 15 year time horizon…..’
• The objectively assessed need for further housing development.
Some objectors believe that the Council’s calculation of the objectively assessed need for further housing development is overstated and
is based on incorrect assumptions. As a result the amount of growth that the plan provides for is too much. Other objectors comment that
the figure is understated when compared to the standard methodology now included in Government guidance, which means that true
need will not be met and the local plan will be out of date soon after adoption….



One thought on “Bedford Local Plan at Executive for Submission Tonight – 5 years knocked off plan period

  1. Plan is notable for non-OAN related reasons too. Despite the fact that only minor modifications would have been needed to make it compliant with July 2018 NPPF policies the officers have refused to update it to comply with the new Chapter 11 additions that places extra emphasis on the need for LPAs to prioritise the redevelopment of brownfield AND derelict/underused land/buildings (including car parks). There’s a reason for that. Extant policies reflect outdated ‘Braintree’ definitions of isolation and sustainability which officers are determined to perpetuate – Braintree CoA decision be damned. Hence why new policies in Draft Plan are purposely designed to stifle any possibility of new development in the Borough’s hamlets and Ends, completely ignoring the historic functional relationship between them and larger nearby settlements. So even if there are blindingly obvious regeneration opportunities in such smaller settlement, BBC’s attitude is that they should be passed over and left to fester, regardless of the what the 2018 NPPF says. All of which explains why Policy 6 (Development In The Countryside) is worded in such an utterly Draconian fashion… conditions in second part of the policy are contingent (note use of ‘and’ in vi to ix) so will be virtually impossible for any applicants with otherwise suitable brownfield/derelict sites in hamlets/Ends to meet.

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