Planning Inspector calls latest Bedford Local Plan into Question
Posted on 8th December 2023 at 14:37
Preparation of the Bedford Borough Council Local Plan has reached an advanced stage and is currently at Examination in Public - a key final stage in the Local Plan process. This will now throw the Local Plan process into disarray and open up opportunity to support further development in the borough in the coming months.
The Planning Inspectorate has written to the Council outlining it has several major concerns with the current draft Plan. Inspector Darren McCreery issued his Post-Hearings Findings Letter at the end of November. In his letter, he noted that he would find it difficult to find the Plan ‘sound’, even if it were modified. The issues are so fundamental, no modifications will address his concerns.
These fundamental issues relate to whether the Council’s assumptions relating to the timing of delivery of strategic infrastructure projects, such as national highway improvements both inside and neighbouring Bedford Borough, plus the Council’s overly optimistic assumptions in relation to build-out rates for new strategic development (particularly new housing development) within the Borough.
Overall, it appears that the Council has a lot of work to do and it is likely that they will have to withdraw the current Plan and start afresh. This will provide you as farmers, landowners and developers with new opportunities to submit new representations in support of the development of your land. We will of course keep you updated on any further news in relation to the Bedford Borough Local Plan and encourage you to follow our social media to stay in the loop.
Landscope has a strong track record in successfully promoting sites for develpment across the local area. If you have any queries in the short term, or would like an initial discussion regarding the mertis of developing your plan through the development plan process, please do not hesitate to contact Sam Franklin, Direcror, or Ian Taylor, Associate Planning Consultant on 01767 686 872 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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