April 2019

Central Bedfordshire Local Plan – Examination Hearings

The Public Hearing Sessions for the Examination in Public (EiP) of the Regulation 22 Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan are set to begin at 10am on Tuesday 21st May 2019, running until Thursday 25th July.

DLP Planning Ltd will be in attendance for many of the scheduled Hearing Sessions representing a number of clients further to representations made throughout the Local Plan process. The Hearing Sessions will be conducted around 15 key Matters and a range of questions pertaining to each Matter under the guidance of the Inspectors Matthew Birkinshaw and Helen Hockenhull.

DLP has consistently made representations that the housing numbers proposed by Central Beds Council are not meeting the full objectively assessed needs for the area and we will be representing clients with concerns over the spatial strategy and the selection of strategic sites.

The Duty to Co-operate has been a consistent issue within Central Bedfordshire, which saw the previous Development Strategy withdrawn in 2015 and similar concerns have been raised again through this EiP process. Other important areas of discussion are likely to include Green Belt releases, the provision of small and medium site allocations for housing, Important Countryside Gap policies and the identified locations for future growth.

John HelyarCentral Bedfordshire Local Plan – Examination Hearings
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Bedford Borough Local Plan 2030 – Examination Hearing Sessions

The Examination in Public (EiP) Hearing Sessions for the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2030 are due to begin on 29th May at 9:30 with Hearing Sessions running until 26th June. The Hearing Sessions will cover 13 matters ranging from legal compliance, housing requirements and the spatial strategy, through to individual allocations and policies of the plan guided by the Government appointed Inspectors Malcolm Rivett and Anne Jordan.

DLP will be present across these Hearing Sessions having responded to a number of consultations over the course of the Plan’s development, which started back in 2014/15. DLP continues to raise concerns over a range of different aspects of the plan including the level of housing which the Council aims to deliver, which DLP consider both falls short of a full assessment of housing need and relies on a number of sites with question marks over their delivery.

DLP will also be challenging the Council’s late decision to shorten the timespan of the new Plan to 2030 whilst also deferring all site specific allocations outside the urban area to future Neighbourhood Plans for allocation. This approach provides little certainty of sites coming forward and will delay the delivery of much needed market and affordable housing in the short-medium term, particularly in rural areas.

Once adopted, the plan will form be the key policy document against which Planning applications in the future will be determined, so DLP will be seeking to ensure that it has been prepared in the correct manner and in accordance with national policy and guidance.

John HelyarBedford Borough Local Plan 2030 – Examination Hearing Sessions
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