“Planning for the Future” – are discussions already taking place across Bedfordshire?

11th May 2020

A few weeks ago in March 2020, Robert Jenrick MP, the Housing Minister, launched a document called “Planning for the Future”

The document outlines the future plans for the Ox – Cam Arc:

“Backing the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, including a new spatial framework and up to four new development corporations – the Arc has the potential to be a world-leading green growth corridor, with high-productivity jobs and environmentally-friendly developments.

The Spatial Framework will give certainty to businesses and developers about where new housing and employment will be delivered until 2050 and support planning for the right infrastructure to meet social, environmental and economic needs.

The government is also going to examine and develop the case for up to four new Development Corporations in the Ox-Cam Arc, subject to necessary public consultation, in or around Bedford, St Neots/Sandy, Cambourne and Cambridge…” (page 6, paragraph 10, bullet point 6)

 

CPRE Bedfordshire are calling for clarity and transparency from both Bedford Borough Council (BBC) and Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) on these plans.

 

  • From BBC: what, if any, discussions have taken place between the mayor, the council, the government and the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency) about development plans for Bedford and the surrounding area?

 

  • From CBC: what, if any, discussions have taken place between the council, the government and the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency) about development plans for the area of land in and around St Neots and Sandy which includes Tempsford?

 

We look forward to both councils laying out the full details of any discussions with government regarding development in rural areas.

 

A spokesperson for CPRE Bedfordshire said:

“If either Council takes on the status of a Development Corporation as described in the “Planning for the Future” document, it could mean that local residents will be excluded from the democratic process of deciding where housing development will take place – the decisions will have already been made by councillors and the government.”

All this adds weight to CPRE Bedfordshire’s serious concerns that the two councils have plans for very large developments in the countryside.

 

Read more about Development Corporations in our briefing document:

Briefing Document – Development Corporations

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