Have your say on shaping Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire Council wants residents to respond to a public consultation which will help shape where they live for the next 20 years and contribute to their emerging Local Plan.
The Local Plan will set out broad locations for new homes and jobs up to 2035. It’s not just about housing though; it also deals with future needs and opportunities in relation to transport, community facilities and the environment, while setting out the principles that will guide future development – particularly protecting the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design.
Part of the seven week consultation will set out, at a high level, the areas of Central Bedfordshire that have potential to grow and some constraints that the Council needs to take account of.
The authority is asking for feedback on these growth areas, in terms of how to plan for sustainable growth, new homes and local infrastructure, such as open spaces, education provision, transport links, health provision. The Council will then use the feedback to refine and improve these broad areas for growth, with a view to informing the first draft of the Local Plan, which will be published for consultation at the end of 2016.
More information on the Local Plan can be found online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplan, where the consultation questionnaire will also be available. For anyone without access to the internet, then paper copies will be available in all Central Bedfordshire Libraries until the consultation closes on Tuesday November 1, 2016.
Running alongside the consultation, the Council will also be holding a series of public exhibitions in locations across Central Bedfordshire, which will be publicised locally and on the Council’s Local Plan webpage. These will explain more about why a Local Plan is required, highlight the ‘big picture’ options for growth in Central Bedfordshire and help identify the key issues in local areas.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Central Bedfordshire is a great place to live, so it goes hand-in-hand that we have an ever-growing population. This is also due to a continued high birth-rate, people living longer and more and more people living on their own. All of this means we need to build more high-quality homes, but we want to do so much more for the people that live here, their futures and their children’s futures. We want to build communities, with schools, jobs, health provision and good transport links.
“We want do this in a structured and considerate way, which retains what is best about our towns and villages, so we need to plan for this through developing a Local Plan together. As part of this, we have highlighted broad areas for growth and we would like residents to let us know what they think; whether we have got this right, or whether we have missed anything. I’d like to get as much feedback as possible so that we have a greater chance of developing a Local Plan that can work for everyone.”
To make sure you don’t miss out on any further opportunities to get involved, or to hear about the latest developments of the Local Plan, sign up for the Council’s email updates at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localplanupdates