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New Briefing Document: Bedford Borough Council Local Plan 2040

30th June 2022

Plan for Submission – Public Consultation 15 June – 29 July 2022.

This important public consultation of Bedford Borough Council’s Local Plan 2040 is the final consultation prior to the Local Plan being submitted to government for an ‘Inspection in Public’ by government appointed Inspectors and their approval. The Council expects to submit the new Local Plan 2040 to government in January 2023 after taking into consideration the views of those responding to this Consultation.

The purpose of this Briefing Document is to inform readers of our principal concerns regarding the Local Plan 2040 submission version, so that they can take our views into consideration when responding to the consultation, should they wish to do so. CPRE Bedfordshire’s more detailed final response to the consultation will be submitted to the Borough Council later in July and will also be made available via our website.

Read the full Briefing here: CPRE Bedfordshire Briefing Document – BBC LP 2040 (PDF download)

 

Highlights from the Briefing Document

Freedom of Information request

In reply to CPRE Bedfordshire’s open letter expressing concerns about the impact of the government’s housing target formula for Bedford, the Mayor said that the target is “far higher than we should have to accommodate” and that he had written to the Secretary of State (SoS) asking that the target should be reviewed.

However, when asked by CPRE Bedfordshire to publish the Council’s correspondence with the SoS, the Mayor said it would be unfair to do so, as his letter to the SoS was not sent as an open letter.

CPRE Bedfordshire believe that the correspondence between the Mayor and the SoS contains matters of vital public interest and should be open and transparent and in the public domain. We have therefore submitted a Freedom of Information request in an effort to ensure that this correspondence is available to local people.

 

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc

The Secretary of State, Michael Gove MP, stated in recent months that that the government does not wish to see the OxCam Arc as a project driven by central government. Instead, it will be up to local leaders to identify the priorities they wish to support across the Arc.

Despite our request for information about the priorities for the Arc identified by Bedford Council, these remain unclear and, as far as we are aware, have not been discussed and agreed by the Council in a public forum.

 

Central Area Growth Board

CPRE Bedfordshire urges the Mayor to publish full details of the Central Area Growth Board on its website together with full minutes and details of who attended the meetings, including central government representatives.

Residents have the democratic right to know what is happening and to be consulted on the proposals being developed by the Growth Board to deliver, by stealth, on the housing growth ambitions of the Ox-Cam Arc Strategy.

 

Other resources you may find helpful

Bedford Borough: the Local Plan, OxCam and housing numbers

CPRE Bedfordshire Full Response – Bedford Local Plan 2040 Consultation – CPRE Bedfordshire consultation comments shown by chapter and paragraphs from the draft plan.

CPRE Bedfordshire Initial Response – Bedford Local Plan 2040 Consultation

 

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