Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Plan 2035 Examination

17th August 2020

CPRE Bedfordshire has submitted a response to Central Bedfordshire Council’s (CBC) Consultation on the Additional Evidence provided by them to the Inspectors of their Local Plan 2035.

You can download the full document here:

CPRE Bedfordshire response to CBC Consultation on Additional Evidence

Overview

CPRE Bedfordshire supports a plan led system and Local Plans which provide a clear framework for sustainable housing growth and employment whilst at the same time protecting and enhancing our countryside.

Good land-use planning is the unsung hero of environmental protection. It can help slow the growth in road traffic, encourage urban regeneration, curb urban sprawl, protect the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside, and safeguard wildlife habitats.

We believe in the benefits of the Green Belt and the intrinsic value of the countryside.

Central Bedfordshire has some beautiful countryside including the northern edge of the London Metropolitan Green Belt, The Chilterns AONB and the Greensand Ridge.

It is our countryside and the “Quality of Life” enabled by it that attracts businesses and people to Central Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire as a whole.

Poorly planned and excessive development can rapidly destroy the very things that make Central Bedfordshire such a great place to live, work and do businesses.

We want the right type of development, which we can all be proud of, in the most appropriate locations which will enhance the very special character of Bedfordshire.

We have made extensive representations to CBC’s previous Local Plan 2035 Consultations on the issues detailed below and would wish to speak at any further Public Hearings should the Inspectors find them necessary.

In our previous response to the Consultation on the Pre-Submission version of the CBC Local Plan 2035 we have indicated the reasons why we consider the Local Plan 2035 to be unsound.

These reasons have not changed due to CBC’s response to the Inspector’s letter.

Three key areas of concern

1. Democracy

In our view, CBC has, both in its actions since the Hearings ended, and in its response to the Inspector’s letter, completely ignored and dismissed the Local Plan democratic process.

In their responses to the Inspectors letter, rather than offering change or compromise, it seems to us that CBC has simply tried to provide justification for almost every area of concern expressed by the Inspectors.

 

2. A6-M1 Link Road

CBC has still not provided evidence that it has properly investigated alternative routes to the A6-M1 Link Road. The route will slice through the southern edge of the nationally important Bedfordshire Chilterns AONB, is entirely within the Green Belt and will adversely impact 2 “ancient” woodlands (planted before 1600).

 

3. Houghton Regis North 1

Lack of development at Houghton Regis North. In our view CBC should be compelled to build-out HRN1 as quickly as possible before Inspectors even consider releasing any further Green Belt land for housing development. The Inspector of Luton’s Local Plan said that HRN1 was the best site to build Luton’s additional housing need.

 

Read about these areas of concern in more detail, along with our other comments in our full response: CPRE Bedfordshire response to CBC Consultation on Additional Evidence

Bluebell Woods From Side Of Proposed A6-M1 Link Road Keith Brown
Quernmore landscape