Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2023

01.11.23 2 MINUTE READ

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Will they, won’t they, if so when and by how much? The extent and timing of the planning reforms to the Plan Led System are a key consideration for Central Bedfordshire (CBC) and Luton as they consider their Local Plan options. 

Both Authorities were due to undertake a partial review this calendar year, however, CBC, under a new administration, await the implementation of the LURA, following Royal Accent, to now undertake a full review by 2026. Whereas Luton’s review is a little unclear currently. There is no doubt the spatial considerations of the Green Belt and unmet housing need will make for yet more interesting dialogue between these neighbours, particularly with the change in CBC to an ‘Independent’ administration.

Bedford Borough on the other hand roll on and have concluded their initial hearings of the Examination of their Local Plan Review. They are now subject to Main Modifications before the Inspector considers the next stages. Progress with East-West Rail will no doubt play a role in the Inspectors considerations, as their routing options gather ‘steam’.

What is unclear, is what delays and/or uncertainty will transpire as a result of Local Plan Reviews, or new Local Plan on the supply and delivery of new homes. Particularly in Central Bedfordshire and Luton who are already subject to housing land supply challenges.

Five Year Land Supply


Bedford Borough’s last published statement (23/24) suggests a Housing Land Supply of 6.82 years.

Central Bedfordshire’s last published statement (July 23) suggests a housing land supply of 5.24 years. However, a dismissed appeal decision in August 23 stated a supply of 5.1 years. There is a further appeal hearing due in January 2024, where Housing Land Supply is being challenged.

Delays to the delivery of existing strategic housing allocations, the identification of future sites as part of their Plan review and as a result of the mitigation requirements for the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) will only hamper the ability for Central Bedfordshire to maintain a 5 year supply of housing.

For detail on emerging Local Plan position in Bedfordshire please click on the map below.


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Mike Jones

Partner, Planning

Mike is a Chartered Town Planner with 19+ years’ experience and knowledge across an array of sectors.

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