Have your say on housing, employment and Traveller site assessment criteria
Date Added: 04/07/2016
Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for public comment on the criteria they will use to help evaluate future sites for housing, employment and Gypsy and Traveller sites.
Crucially, the sites that come through this process will not then automatically become the draft allocations in the Local Plan as the detailed site assessment is just one part of the technical evidence base that will be used determine the most sustainable locations for growth. The evidence base will also include the results of public consultation, the Sustainability Appraisal and the strategic growth options studies.
This follows on from the release in May of approximately 830 sites that were submitted through the authority’s Call for Sites, which was one of the first steps of the Local Plan process.
This call was an opportunity for agents, landowners and developers to submit land which they believe could be developed to meet future demand for homes and jobs.
All of the proposals will be considered, however, the Council has received many more submissions than they require to meet housing need up until 2035 and not all sites will be suitable for development.
In fact, only around 4-6 per cent of the total land across Central Bedfordshire will be allocated to deliver the new homes and jobs that are needed.
A consultation is now open for comment until 5pm on 29 July 2016. This can be done via the council website at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/call-for-sites and this is also where the full list of sites can be viewed, along with more information about the Local Plan.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Our population is growing and the reality is that we need to build more homes, but we will do this in a sustainable way and this is the next step in the process of setting out how we will provide jobs and houses for the next 20 years.
“As these decisions affect everyone we feel it’s important that people can have their say throughout the process and, for the next month in particular, on the mechanism we employ to assess whether sites are suitable.
"Only a very small percentage of the 830 sites we published in May will be need to be allocated to deliver homes and jobs The Technical Assessment Criteria will be used to draw up a shortlist of suitable sites, some of which will ultimately be put forward in the plan. After that we will publish a draft plan by the end of the year, which we will open for public consultation. I’d urge residents to sign up for news email alerts at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/updates to get all the latest information sent straight to your inbox."