DLP Planning Ltd, on behalf of a number of clients are instructed to make representations to the Bedford Borough Local Plan Regulation 19 Consultation.
The Plan, which seeks to make provision for some 19000 new dwellings in the period up to 2035, promotes a strategy of allocating land within the urban area and on its edge, in rural settlements, subject to the sites being identified in Neighbourhood Plans and also a new garden village.
DLP have some concerns over both the quantum of development being identified by the Borough in order to meet its unconstrained housing needs and also in the strategy they are seeking to follow, which it believes is undeliverable.
In particular, DLP have concerns over the deliverability of a number of the urban sites identified for development in the Plan, the speed at which rural sites will come forward, given they are reliant upon Neighbourhood Plans being prepared and adopted, and most importantly the new garden village which is proposed to be located on land between Sharnbrook and Souldrop.
DLP have promoted an alternative new settlement proposal on the part brownfield site at Twinwoods to the north of Bedford. This site was subject to appraisal by the Council, based on an original scoring matrix and was highly scored. That matrix however, was changed by the Council at a very late stage in favour of one that favours non-road transport solutions and the promoters of the Colworth site have proposed to provide for a new parkway station. The policy drafted by the Council for the purposes of the Plan require that the station is both built and in operation before any development takes place on the new village and DLP highlight that there are very significant impediments to this such that it is unlikely that the new village would be delivered and provide any meaningful level of housing in the Plan period.