Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2024

16.4.24 2 MINUTE READ

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There are several key infrastructure projects progressing across Bedfordshire, all of which will support growth opportunities across the County.

There are several key infrastructure projects progressing across Bedfordshire, all of which will support growth opportunities across the County. The outcome of the Luton Airport expansion recommendation is due in May 2024, with the Decision due within three months of this date. Additionally, East West Rail will be undertaking statutory public consultation(s), with the first of these expected to take place in June 2024. Furthermore, Universal Studios are also exploring the opportunity for a theme park to the South of Bedford, which could support both economic and social growth across boundaries. 

Bedford Borough have plenty of work to undertake to enable the restart of their Examination on the 2040 Local Plan. This includes satisfying the Inspector that suitable funding and agreement can be achieved with National Highways alongside the provision of a number of additional sites providing new housing and employment promotional opportunities. This will all need to be subject to consultation ahead of the Examination re-opening from January 2025.

The 2030 Local Plan is five years old in January 2025, meaning it would be considered out-of-date and the five-year land supply protection (Paragraph 76a) could fall away by the time the Examination re-opens. This could lead to potential opportunities if the new Local Plan is not progressed in a timely manner.

The pace and progress of both Luton and Central Bedfordshire’s new Local Plans under the revised (December 2023) NPPF and new plan led system (post 30th June 2025) will need to be monitored. However, there are likely to be Call for Sites opportunities for both this calendar year, therefore, there are definite opportunities in these areas on the horizon.

Five-Year Land Supply


Notwithstanding the last reported housing land supply position statements, both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils are not required to identify or update an annual supply of five years’ worth of housing, as both benefit from adopted plans that are less than five years old.

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


Our Planning team


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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Natasha Abbott

Senior Planner

Personable and professional, Natasha consistently delivers clear and comprehensive advice to her clients.

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Spring 2024

Local Plan Watch

Our Local Plan Watch provides an update on the progress of the Local Plans coming forward across our region to allocate new land for development and highlights the key opportunities for landowners, promoters and developers. 

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