Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Plan, Inspector's Response

Following a public examination of Central Bedfordshire’s Draft Local Plan this summer, The Planning Inspectorate has now provided formal feedback. And Central Bedfordshire Council has responded.

Read in Full the feedback dated 30 September 2019.  Read in full the response by CBC dated 14 October 2019.

The Local Plan proposes a number of allocations of land to deliver 20,000 new homes and  19,000  jobs. With the number of homes already committed, this would mean some 43,000 new homes being delivered in Central Bedfordshire between 2015 and 2031.

The Inspector's Examination raised concerns regarding the soundness and legal compliance of the submitted Local Plan and has followed that up with detailed comments on the main issues in writing. The written report is 17 pages long and contains 91 paragraphs. Many critical areas of policy have been accepted without commentary, and there are a number of issues which require some further work.

In the response to the Examination, CBC list a number of items the Inspector found wanting and the council addresses these concerns stating, “We expect to complete this work and consultation on the further documentation by April 2020.” It then suggests that a further hearing can be heard from June 2020.

The CBC letter concludes, “The Council remains committed to adopting this Local Plan to deliver the growth required to meet Central Bedfordshire’s needs, but also those unmet needs of Luton Borough Council, and will commit the resources required to deliver the additional work in a timely and efficient manner. ”

Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Regeneration and Planning said:

“It’s usual practice for the Inspectors’ to suggest modifications to draft plans and because we got a steer during the hearings on the issues that needed to be addressed, we’ve already begun work on these”.

“We welcome the feedback and are pressing ahead with purpose and pace.  Delivery of our Local Plan is one of our highest priorities because it will serve to protect the community against speculative development and ensure that we can build communities with the supporting jobs, infrastructures and services that make a Central Bedfordshire a great place to live.”

If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in