The Regulation 19 Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan closed for comment prior to its submission to the Secretary of State on Thursday 22nd February.
DLP Planning Ltd submitted representations on behalf of a number of clients and made formal objections to the Plan based upon the failure of the Council to properly undertake the Duty to Cooperate and in particular on the assessment of housing requirements, which has been a concern for a number of years, and the broader strategy adopted by the Council which fails to provide for a sustainable, infrastructure led Plan as sought by CBC
CBC proposes to release land sufficient to accommodate 39,350 dwellings, however in a critique of the OAN undertaken by DLP (SPRU), that figure is considered to give rise to a shortfall of over 10,000 dwellings. The Council also propose to increase the allocation via a future review, however DLP have expressed serious concerns as to this approach, which fails to reflect the government advice as set out in the National Framework and PPG to properly meet the housing requirements of the District.
CBC’s own housing requirements are increased as a consequence of its proximity to Luton and the obligation placed on it as a result to accommodate part of Luton’s unmet housing need. This has long been an issue for Central Bedfordshire and two earlier Local Plans have not proceeded as a consequence of this. There are concerns as to the extent CBC have undertaken this and also how it is intended to occur.
DLP promoted a number of development opportunities which have been excluded from the consultation draft Plan. In particular, the concept of major development at Barton le Clay to the north of Luton. Barton lies adjacent to the A6, which is a main strategic transport route which links Luton with Bedford in the north and is a main route way for public transport. DLP have been promoting development at Barton le Clay as part of a strategic sustainable urban expansion for some years and a range of schemes have been advanced, including development of a new garden village of up to 4000 units which would fund the extension of the dualling of the A6 to the north of Barton le Clay through to Silsoe and thus increase capacity
DLP also submitted representations for sustainable extensions to Dunstable and Flitwick as well as a number of smaller sites.