Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire Sent to Planning Inspector for Examination

Central Bedfordshire Council submitted its Local Plan to the Secretary of State on Monday April 30 and will now be subject to an independent examination by a Planning Inspector.

The Local Plan sets out how Central Bedfordshire will develop over the next 20 years. It outlines the strategy for ensuring that the growth needed is delivered in the right places and is of the right character and quality. It also ensures that this growth is delivered alongside supporting roads, schools and services such as health, as well as retail, leisure and community facilities.

A Planning Inspector will now set the timetable for examination of the Plan, which will begin with an initial check to make sure it meets the regulatory requirement. After this stage, the hearing timetable will be finalised and published. The Examination is likely to include a series of hearings on what the Inspector considers to be critical issues affecting the Plan. Anyone who has made representations proposing changes to the Plan, in order to make it sound and legally-compliant, may be invited to participate in a hearing.

Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We are delighted to have submitted the Local Plan to the Secretary of State in the timeframe we set out.

"While this is not the end of the process, it is an important milestone towards delivering the homes that residents and their families can afford to buy and to rent, the jobs they need, along with the roads, schools, community facilities, services and other infrastructure that will continue to make Central Bedfordshire and great place to live and work.

"We are confident we have a robust, well-considered and well-evidenced Local Plan and we now look forward to the public examination, but we also thank everyone that took the time to provide input and feedback via engagement events and consultations throughout the last two years."

During the examination period, the submission and examination material will be available at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplan or printed copies of the submission materials will be available to view at the Council office at Priory House, Chicksands and the Local Plan will be at libraries around Central Bedfordshire.

The Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire includes proposals for new villages at Marston Vale (up to 5000 homes) and east of Biggleswade (around 1500 homes), as well as town extensions north of Luton (around 4000 homes) and east of Arlesey (around 2000 homes). There will also be some growth in existing towns and villages, but only where services can support it.