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60% of new homes in Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Plan are for people moving into the area

Thursday, 28 September 2017 11:57

CPRE Bedfordshire has learned from a Freedom of Information request that 60% of the planned new homes that Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) claims it needs are for people moving into Central Bedfordshire from elsewhere, rather than local need.

CPRE Bedfordshire established this figure from a Freedom of Information request it sent to Central Bedfordshire Council this summer.

CBC is claiming that it needs anywhere between 44,000 to 55,000 new homes built in Central Bedfordshire over the next twenty years – which includes 23,000 homes that are already allocated or have planning permission.

The proposed levels of house-building needed for Central Bedfordshire is one of the highest levels of all local authorities in the country. Plans include loss of valued countryside and greenspaces to urban extensions and new towns.

The starting point for these housing figures is an 'Initial Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Luton and Central Bedfordshire’, which was published in July 2017 and identified that the full ‘Objectively Assessed Need’ for housing in Central Bedfordshire to be 32,000 dwellings in Central Bedfordshire over the period 2015 – 2035.

Of these, the response to the Freedom of Information request reveals that just 41% of the new housing is to meet the needs of people currently living in Central Bedfordshire - most homes are being built for people moving into the area.

In addition to the Objectively Assessed Need of 32,000 homes, Central Bedfordshire Council has increased this housing number further by adding 7,400 homes for Luton’s residents, plus up to 20% “contingency”.

A CPRE Bedfordshire spokesperson said:
“Of course new homes need to be planned for those moving into the area, but 60% is simply unsustainable, especially given that the local road and rail infrastructure is already struggling to cope at peak times.

“This over-development of the countryside is unsustainable and not fair on the residents of Central Bedfordshire.”

Our detailed response to Central Bedfordshire Council's draft Local Plan consultation can be downloaded below.


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