Local Plan 2030

Local Plan Consultation- Have Your Say


Consultation on the ‘Local Plan 2030’ started on Tuesday 18th September 2018 and is set to run for 6 weeks to Tuesday 30th October 2018.


The Local Plan 2030 sets out proposals for growth and development in Bedford Borough to 2030. As well as allocations for the building of new homes, it also includes provision for jobs and the development of facilities such as schools, transport and shops to support new communities.


This follows a consultation that was held on the draft ‘Plan for Submission’ between January and March 2018, which received over 3,200 individual comments.


Following this, changes have been made including the removal of a proposed ‘Garden Village’ to deliver a proportion of the homes required for Bedford Borough. The end of the plan period has also been moved forward by 5 years to 2030.


The Council is required by Government to plan for 14,550 homes to be built by 2030. However, with allocations and permissions already in place for over half this number, new sites are identified for about 6,000 dwellings, some of which will be built after 2030.


The development strategy for the Local Plan has not changed with the main focus for this housing growth continuing to be the urban area of Bedford and Kempston.


Portfolio Holder Cllr Colleen Atkins said “This Local Plan sets out where growth will take place in the Borough up until 2030, and this consultation invites local residents and other interested parties to comment on the Plan before the Council considers it for formal examination.”


You can respond to this consultation online at www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2030, or by completing a response form available at local libraries and the Customer Service Centre on Horne Lane.


Responses can also be emailed to planningforthefuture@bedford.gov.uk or sent by post to Local Plan 2030, Planning Policy Team, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Bedford MK42 9AP.


All responses should be made on the official form where possible and returned by 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2018.


All comments received during the first ‘Regulation 19’ public consultation that took place in early 2018 will be sent to the examining Inspector. This means that those people who have already replied on a part of the plan that hasn’t changed, and where their views haven’t changed, do not need to re-submit their earlier representation.


However those who have already commented and want to add to their earlier representation, or make a new representation, may do so.


Local Plan 2032

This has now been superceded by Local Plan 2035


Bedford Borough Council is preparing a local plan that will set out how much growth there should be in the borough in coming years (housing, jobs and associated infrastructure) and where it should take place. Current planning policy documents look ahead to 2021 and this new local plan will extend the period that development has been planned for to 2032. It will also contain policies that will be used to make decisions on planning applications.



Update February 2017


Bedford Borough Council have to deliver 19000 new dwellings and 9800 new jobs for workers by 2035.  Over half of these dwellings have already been allocated and they expect 6% to be windfall sites (ie new sites which become available during the period which have not yet been identified) so this leaves 8103 to be allocated.

Their call for sites provided 640 submissions of which 4 were for significant new settlements: Lee Farm at Sharnbrook (4500 homes),  Thurleigh Airfield (5250 homes), Twinwoods (up to 6000 homes), Wybosoton Garden Village (4000 homes).

 Their preferred development strategy is:

  • The creation of one or more new settlements to provide a new focus for strategic growth (2200 homes from new settlements by 2035)
  • Regeneration of the former Stewartby Brickworks
  • Regeneration of the urban area of Bedford and Kempston including projects to create a vibrant and modern town centre
  • Urban extensions in locations that are well connected to facilities in the urban area
  • Development in villages at a scale that takes account of existing commitments and infrastructure capacity in group 1 and 2 villages (excludes Colmworth parish).
  • Maintaining a living, working countryside, supporting opportunities to diversify the rural economy whilst conserving and enhancing the natural environment.

 The preferred development strategy does not rely on allocations in smaller Group 3 and Group 4 villages (ie villages like Colmworth) to deliver homes to meet the borough-wide requirement. However, under the preferred strategy, communities in these locations would be able to bring forward development through their own neighbourhood plans should they so wish and additionally a development management policy would support suitable small-scale development through the planning application route where local community backing could be demonstrated.

 The development strategy recognises that there is limited existing capacity in schools to accommodate growth and the fact that 500 dwellings are required to justify the provision by developers of a new one form entry primary school as part of a new development. It is for this reason that in areas where there is no capacity in primary schools to accommodate additional housing, proposed allocations are for 500 dwellings. A reduction in the urban/edge of urban total of, say, 100 dwellings could not simply be compensated for by adding 100 dwellings to one of the village totals as there would be insufficient school places to cater for the children arising from those 100 homes. Increases and decreases need to be in multiples of 500 to ensure that school places are available without a funding gap.

 There will be a consultation on this preferred strategy and the preliminary dates for this consultation are Tuesday 18 April to Friday 2 June 2017.


For further information progress on the plan is shown on their website (www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2032).

September 2015

Consultation 2015 and update (Published in Nov2015 edition of the Chronicle)

Across the Borough, space needs to be found to build 4,500 new homes by 2032 and Bedford Borough Council expects that 10-20 new dwellings will be built in Colmworth. This information was revealed in the announcement of another period of consultation (called Consultation 2015) for the Borough’s Local Plan 2032. Full information is to be found on the website www.bedford.gov.uk/localplan2032 

Call for Sites
In 2014, the Borough Council announced a ‘call for sites’ to find additional land for the 4,500 new homes. Land owners have submitted 350 plots, of which 6 were in Colmworth. 

Decentralised Development
As there is insufficient space in Bedford and Kempston to accommodate the additional demand for new homes, the Council proposes a new strategy to decentralise development and ask larger settlements in the Borough to provide more new homes than in past years.
The Council has suggested a tiered approach so that larger communities, which already have good amenities able to support an increase in population, would provide more homes than smaller villages, like Colmworth. Three groups have been identified viz: Group 1 - Key Service Centres, Group 2 - Rural Service Centre, and Group 3 - Remaining villages with a Settlement Policy Area (SPA). Colmworth falls into Group 3 and each of the 22 settlements in this Group will be expected to find space for 10-20 additional new homes.

Site Scrutiny
You will be pleased to learn that, just because a plot of land has been submitted under the ‘call for sites’, it will not be accepted automatically. The Borough Council will be reviewing all sites to ensure that they are suitable, available and deliverable e.g. a site that is available and deliverable may be unsuitable because it is remote from utilities and uneconomic to develop. All three tests must be passed before a site could be considered for development. 

More Sites Needed
It is expected that a number of the sites will not pass scrutiny and therefore the Borough Council is renewing the invitation to land owners to offer new sites. All decisions have to be evidence based and the Borough Council will publish the site selection methodology on their website.

Neighbourhood Plan
As a Parish, we too can influence the selection of sites and the types of homes to be built, by means of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) - Colmworth is one of 19 parishes in the Borough, which are preparing plans now. In the last resort, parishes without a NP risk having development imposed upon them by the Borough Council. So it is important to understand that not having a NP does not mean that development would be blocked – just that decisions about development in Colmworth would be taken by others, not us. 
An adopted NP becomes part of the Local Plan and therefore has legal force when planning applications are being considered. This would give us the best protection against inappropriate development in the Parish.

Liaison with Borough Council
Officers of the Colmworth Neighbourhood Plan Committee continue to liaise closely with the Borough Council to ensure that we have development that is appropriate to the village, of good quality and in suitable locations. If you would like to become more involved, why not consider joining the Colmworth NP Committee and help form policies for the NP? Please contact a parish councillor for contact details.

Local Plan Programme
Coming back to the Local Plan, the next steps for the Borough Council are as follows:
· Consider consultation comments and draft the plan – early 2016 
· Consult on draft plan autumn 2016
· Consider comments and submit plan mid-2017
· Formal examination late 2017
· Adoption spring/early summer 2018
Our NP and the Council’s Local Plan are both subject to the same rigorous process - they must be evidence based and subject to public consultation at each stage. Both our NP and the Local Plan will be scrutinised by an independent examiner to ensure that we meet specified conditions. 
Although the NP lies in a tier below the Local Plan, the commitment we make, in terms of new homes, becomes part of the commitment made by the Borough Council to the Government. So our Neighbourhood Plan must dovetail with and complement, the Local Plan.

Drop-in Sessions
For the record the following sessions were available for people to learn more and to talk to Planning Officers face-to-face, 
The venues closest to Colmworth are: Great Barford VH, 28 October, 2-9pm 
Riseley VH, 6 November, 11am to 6.30pm and 
Keysoe VH, 27 November, 11am to 4pm. 

October 2014

The Colmworth Parish Council publish their report: Colmworth 2032 Housing Site Survey recommending that the report together with the full survey, results and analysis, is presented to Bedford Borough Council Planning Dept for consideration within the Local Plan 2032. They also recommend that consideration be given to preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for Colmworth in the coming 12 months and that Colmworth Parish Council should continue to liaise with Bedford Borough Council during the preparation of the Local Plan 2032.

Link>>> Colmworth Local Plan 2032 Survey Report October 2014
Appendix 1:Link>>>  Colmworth Census 2011
Appendix 2:Link>>>  Colmworth Survey Results 
Appendix 3:Link>>>  Colmworth Survey Comments 

7th Site - On 7th October, the Parish Council received an apologetic email from Bedford Borough Council advising that they had omitted a site, for which consideration would be required under the Local Plan 2032. The site (343) is at the intersection of New and Wilden Road, adjacent to Rootham's Farm The application is for up to 30 houses on the 1.12Ha site, which is currently agricultural land. Site 084, which is also owned by W A Wade-Gery Ltd, is on the opposite side of New Road, adjacent to Cornfields Restaurant. In the recent survey, development on this site was rejected by Colmworth residents (77 votes 'against' and 17 'for') and therefore the Parish Council concluded it is unlikely that site 343 would be supported. This response will be forwarded to Bedford Borough Council.


September 2014

Public Meeting held on 17 September 2014 

The Parish Council held a public meeting at the Village Hall to present the results of the survey and 45 members of the Parish attended. The meeting opened with a presentation by Cllr. Denis Smith, who explained the purpose of the Local Plan and the process by which the 2032 version would be developed. Next Cllr. David Michell presented the results and analysis of the survey as described in the previous sections of this report. 

Following the presentations and the revelation that the majority who voted were against all 6 of the proposed sites, there was the opportunity for the audience to ask questions. 

It soon became obvious that there were two camps viz. those who opposed all building and wanted the village to remain unchanged and others, who felt that small scale low density building on in-fill sites could be beneficial. There was passionate debate between the two groups but everyone was united in their opposition to large scale, bland, high density estates. 

Several speakers were in favour of compiling a Neighbourhood Plan for Colmworth. This would allow the village to consider not only future housing requirement but also the necessary infrastructure to support it. It could also be used to indicate places where development was opposed. 

A Neighbourhood Plan was considered the best framework to express the views of the community and how the Parish should be developed. It was also seen as the best defence against the imposition of unwelcome development. 

July 2014

A publication describing the six sites, the arguments for and against development and a request to complete a questionnaire was distributed with the Chronicle to all households within the Parish during July 2014. Responses have to be returned to the Parish Council by 8th September and a copy is available via the village website. After receipt of the questionnaires a public meeting will be held at the Village hall on Wednesday 17th September 2014 at 7.30pm to present an analysis of the questionnaire responses and to hear your questions and points of view. Not all sites will be allocated for development in the Local Plan. Sites will be selected once the development strategy and level of growth have been identified. They have been published so that Members and local communities can see the sites the Borough Council has been asked to consider.

A copy of the questionnaire may be downloaded Link>>> here

Policy 69 - The replacement and extension of dwellings in the countryside


Replacement Dwellings

A proposal for the replacement of a dwelling in the countryside will be supported where:

i.            It would lead to a clear enhancement of the immediate setting; and ii.         It is within the curtilage of the original building, and iii.            It is positioned within the site where it would result in no adverse impact, including to the local landscape, and iv.            It is of a similar size and scale to the original building.


Extension of dwellings

A proposal for the extension of a dwelling in the countryside will be supported where:

v.           The extension reflects the architectural character, size and scale of the original dwelling; and vi.   The proposal has no adverse effect on the character and appearance of the area.


A proposal for the creation or extension of ancillary domestic buildings will be supported where:

               vii.          It is not used for any other purpose other than the enjoyment of the existing dwelling or as a residential annex to the dwelling



The design and size of the proposal is in keeping with the existing dwelling and



The proposal has no adverse effect on the character and appearance of the area.