Bedford Borough Council: Call for sites
Date of Article
Jul 15 2020
Planning & Development

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@ Colin Brown
Colin Brown
Partner - Head of Planning and Development Division
01223 326826 email me about Colin

Colin is a Partner and was appointed Head of Planning & Development Division in November 2020, he is based out of our Cambridge office.  He has over 25 years’ experience of planning consultancy and has a broad sphere of work.  He acts for a wide range of private, institutional and developer clients and has worked on significant planning applications and appeals.

He regularly instructs Counsel, and has appeared at a number of Local Plan examinations and in Section 78 and other appeals where he has often given evidence.  He carries out much land promotion work and has a strong track record of delivering planning consents taking projects through their entire process from site identification to construction on site.  

Away from work, Colin is Chairman of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry and of the Cambridge branch of networking group, Interact.  He is also Chairman of the Dining Rights Committee at the Hawks’ Club, a sporting club in the City for Cambridge University sportsmen. He is a regular, if poor golfer, a keen cyclist and a committed, but somewhat less dangerous skier than he once was.

I can provide advice on:

Bedford Borough Council is about to start preparation of a new Local Plan, with an initial ‘call for sites’ exercise, including an issues and options consultation. There are opportunities from these processes to promote land for housing and commercial development and to seek to influence emerging policies at an early stage.

Bedford Borough is located at the centre of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, which is an area identified by Government for economic growth and additional housing. A preferred route for East West Rail has been identified to the north of Bedford, which includes a connection through Bedford mainline station. The housing requirement for the new Local Plan will need to be based on the national standard method for calculating local housing needs, which could mean a significant increase in the amount of housing that is required. For example, the Council has indicated a potential need for an additional 26,100 dwellings in the plan period to 2040. There has also been a recent increase in the delivery of commercial development along the A421 Corridor.

The Council has previously assessed opportunities for new settlements to meet development needs and has indicated that it intends to assess this type of development again for the new Local Plan. The Council has identified the following potential locations for housing and employment:

  • Further regeneration within the Bedford/Kempston urban area, particularly of any available brownfield sites
  • Expansion of the Bedford/Kempston urban area
  • Expansion within the borough boundary of neighbouring urban areas, such as Rushden and St. Neots
  • Development along the A421 corridor
  • Development around an East West Rail northern station
  • New settlements in locations with good accessibility
  • More dispersed development throughout the borough including the expansion of villages

The Council is inviting landowners, developers, and community groups, to promote land for development that might fall within the above categories.

It is anticipated that the Council will need to allocate a mix of sites to meet its development needs including smaller sites, sites in sustainable locations, brownfield sites, urban and village extensions, and new settlements.

If you have a suitable site that should be promoted, this may be the time to realise the development potential of your land.

The deadline for submissions to the call for sites is Friday 14th August 2020.

The deadline for representations to issues and options is Friday 4th September 2020.

To discuss your options, please contact:

Brian Flynn
01223 326823

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