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APPENDIX D

REGIONAL PLANNING POLICY AND THE COMMUNITY PLAN

RSS – EAST OF ENGLAND PLAN

D1 The draft East of England Plan was published in December 2004; it was a draft revision to the existing Regional Spatial Strategy. Following the publication of the draft, the East of England Regional Assembly withdrew its endorsement of the plan principally due to concerns about infrastructure delivery. EERA remains committed to the policy content of the plan, subject to the infrastructure being provided to sustain the level of growth proposed. The Examination in Public was held and the Report of the Panel was    published in June 2006. The Proposed Changes to the East of England Plan were then published in December 2006. The publication of the RSS was expected in mid 2007 but has been delayed as the Government Office for the East of England announced in June 2007 that it had commissioned further work to assess the plan against the requirements of the European Habitats Directive. Once finalised, the plan will cross refer to the relevant Milton Keynes & South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy policies that affect the region.

D2 The plan contains planning policy for the whole of the east of England region, which incorporates the six counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and the unitary authorities of Luton, Peterborough, Southend and Thurrock.

D3 The plan takes account of European and national planning policy, in particular the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan of 2002 which identified four growth areas. Three of these growth areas are within the East of England region and thus are key aspects of the plan.

D4 The vision of the RSS (Proposed Changes) document is ‘By 2021 the East of England will be realising its economic potential and providing a high quality of life for its people, including by meeting their housing needs in sustainable and inclusive communities. At the same time it will reduce its impact on climate change and the environment, including through savings in energy and water use and by strengthening its stock of environmental assets.’

The objectives of the plan are:

  1. To reduce the Region’s impact on, and exposure to, the effects of climate change by:
    • Locating development so as to reduce the need to travel:
    • Effecting a major shift in travel towards public transport, walking and cycling and away from car use; and
    • Maximising the energy efficiency of development and promoting the use of renewable and low carbon energy sources;
    • Reducing the risk of damage from flooding.
  2. To increase housing opportunities for people in the region by:
    • Securing a step change in the delivery of additional housing throughout the region, particularly the Key Centres for development and change; and
    • Giving priority to the provision of affordable housing to meet identified needs.
  3. To realise the economic potential of the region and its people by:
    • Facilitating the development needed to support the region’s business sectors and clusters, improving skills and widening opportunities in line with the Regional Economic Strategy;
    • Providing for job growth broadly matching increases in housing provision and improving alignment between the locations of workplaces and homes;
    • Maintaining and strengthening the region’s inter-regional connections by improving connections to economic opportunities in London; and
    • Ensuring adequate and sustainable transport infrastructure.
  4. To improve the quality of life of the region’s people by:
    • Ensuring new development fulfils the principles of sustainable communities, providing a well designed living environment adequately supported by social and green infrastructure;
    • Promoting social cohesion by improving access to work, services and other facilities, especially for those who are disadvantaged;
    • Maintaining cultural diversity while addressing the distinctive needs of each part of the region;
    • Promoting regeneration and renewal of disadvantaged areas;
    • Increasing community involvement in the implementation of the strategy at the local level.
  5. To improve and conserve the region’s environment by:
    • Ensuring the protection and enhancement of the region’s environmental assets, including the built and historic environment, landscape and water;
    • Re-using previously-developed land and seeking environmental as well as development gains from the use of previously-undeveloped land;
    • Protecting and, where appropriate, enhancing biodiversity through the protection of habitats and species and through creating new habitats through development;
    • Providing a network of multi-function greenspace accessible to the region’s people; and
    • Reducing the demand for and use of water and other renewable resources and reducing waste and increasing the sustainable management of waste.

D.6 The plan includes general policies for the region as a whole, policies relating to sub-regions and regional policies relating to specific topics. The East of England Plan (Proposed Changes) tells us:

  • Bedford/Kempston and the northern Marston Vale is a Key Centre for Development and Change where new development will be focused (SS3).
  • Development in rural areas should be focused in market towns and thereafter in key service centres (SS4).
  • Bedford/Kempston is a priority area for regeneration (SS5).
  • Within the overall housing target, LDDs should set appropriate targets for affordable housing (H3).
  • Policies for Key Centres for Development and Change in Bedfordshire are contained in the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy.
  • The indicative job growth target in Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire will be 27,000 jobs in the period 2001-2021 (E1).
  • Bedford is a Major town centre of strategic importance (E5).
  • Housing development in the Borough (outside of the Growth Area) will be 1300 dwellings in the period 2001-2021 (H1).
  • Bedford Borough is within the Bedfordshire Housing Strategy sub-region.
  • Bedford is a Regional Transport Node where improvements to inter-urban public transport should be focused (T5).
  • The Plan states that the dualling of the A421 from Bedford to the M1 is currently programmed for delivery.
  • The Plan states that the Bedford Western bypass is currently programmed for delivery.
  • The Plan states that Wixams railway station has been identified in the Regional Funding Allocation but not yet approved.
  • The Borough is mainly within the landscape character area of the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire claylands.
  • In the Borough new woodland creation should be targeted specifically at, inter alia, the Forest of Marston Vale Community Forest with the aim of increasing woodland cover to 30% by 2030 (ENV5).

D.7 The above bullet points are a summary of the key aspects of the plan as they relate to Bedford Borough; they do not represent a summary of the plan as a whole and do not cover every topic covered by the plan.

D.8 Once the RSS has been finalised (see D.1 above), the RSS will be reviewed to cover the period to 2031. A Draft Revised RSS is anticipated by the end of 2009, with the final version to be published by late 2011.

MILTON KEYNES & SOUTH MIDLANDS SUB-REGIONAL STRATEGY

D.9 The Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy was published in March 2005. It represents an alteration to the existing Regional Spatial Strategy for the East of England that was adopted in March 2001.

D.10 The strategy covers a sub-region that includes the Growth Areas of Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough to the north, Northampton to the west, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Kempston and the northern Marston Vale to the east and Aylesbury, Leighton Linslade, Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis to the south.

D.11 The purpose of the sub-regional strategy is to:

  • Provide strategic guidance on the scale, location and timing of development and associated employment, transport and other infrastructure to 2021 and the necessary delivery mechanisms; and
  • Provide a longer-term perspective for the sub-region to 2031 in the form of uncommitted planning assumptions subject to later review.
  • Provide guidance for local authorities in the production of their planning documents and other bodies in the production of their plans.

D.12 The document sets out new house building figures for parts of Bedfordshire. These figures are to form part of the overall housing figures for the region to be contained within the RSS (East of England Plan) when it is finalised.

D.13 The objectives of the sub-regional strategy are:

  1. To achieve a major increase in the number of new homes provided in the area, meeting needs for affordable housing and a range of types and sizes of market housing.
  2. To provide for a commensurate level of economic growth and developing skills in the workforce, particularly in the high value, knowledge-based sectors.
  3. To locate development in the main urban areas to support urban renaissance, regeneration of deprived areas, recycling of land and sustainable patterns of travel.
  4. To ensure that development contributes to an improved environment, by requiring high standards of design and sustainable construction, protecting and enhancing environmental assets (including landscape and biodiversity) and providing green space and related infrastructure (green infrastructure).
  5. To meet existing infrastructure needs and provide for requirements generated by new development, by investing in new and improved infrastructure, by planning to reduce the need to travel and by creating a shift to more sustainable mode of travel.
  6. To create sustainable communities by ensuring that economic, environmental, social and cultural infrastructure needs are met in step with growth.

D.14 The key priorities for Bedford, Kempston and the northern Marston Vale are:

  • Revitalising the town centre of Bedford and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities.
  • Developing the local economy to provide an increase in employment by fostering a range of growth sectors, particularly the knowledge-based sectors.
  • Creating a focus for offices in the town centre.
  • Securing a higher rate of housing delivery through the implementation of existing commitments.
  • Reducing the need to travel by private vehicle, specifically including the revitalisation of Bedford bus station.
  • Providing new cultural and heritage facilities and attractions in Bedford and enhancing existing to develop heritage-focused tourism.
  • Environmental regeneration of the Marston Vale and enhance green infrastructure.

D.15 In terms of implications for Bedford Borough, the plan tells us:

  • Bedford is a major location for growth.
  • The role of Bedford as a key centre should be strengthened through economic regeneration and growth.
  • In Bedford, Kempston and the northern Marston Vale the priorities will be urban renaissance, improved economic performance and harnessing the potential of the northern Marston Vale.
  • In Bedford, Kempston and the northern Marston Vale, 19,500 new homes are to be provided 2001- 2021; the suggested split is 16,270 within Bedford Borough and 3,230 in Mid-Bedfordshire (SP1, BLP1).
  • The Growth Area has sufficient land already committed for housing development to meet the requirements identified up to 2021, as a result of existing planning permissions and local plan allocations.
  • Achieving high levels of dwelling provision will require accelerated economic performance and the delivery of key local infrastructure (BLP1).
  • In Bedford Borough and Mid Bedfordshire District employment growth of 19,800 jobs will be sought; this equates to 11,400 in Bedford Borough and 8,400 in Mid Bedfordshire (although these figures are to be reviewed through the process of finalising the draft East of England Plan).
  • The east-west rail link from Oxford to Bedford will be considered by the Department for Transport Rail Strategy 2007-2016.
  • The east-west rail link from Bedford to Cambridge/Stansted will be considered by the Department for Transport Rail Strategy in the future.
  • The A421 improvements from the M1 to Bedford are committed for the period 2007-2011.
  • The A421 Great Barford bypass is committed for the period 2002-2006.
  • New station at Wixams is under consideration 2002-2011.
  • The A6 improvements at Wixams is committed 2002-2006.
  • The Bedford Western bypass (southern section) is committed 2002-2011.
  • The Elstow Park and Ride is committed 2002-2006 (now in operation).
  • The Bedford Western bypass (North Bromham section) to be delivered by developer contributions is under consideration 2007-2011.
  • The quality bus corridors are under consideration for 2002-2011.
  • The Biddenham Loop Park and Ride is under consideration for 2007-2011.
  • The Park and Ride at Clapham is under consideration 2007-2011.

COMMUNITY PLAN

TABLE TO SHOW HOW SPATIAL ISSUES OF THE COMMUNITY PLAN ARE IN CORPORATED IN TO THE CORE STRATEGY

Town Centre AAP Policy references relate to the submitted plan. Policy numbers may change when the plan is adopted.

COMMUNITY  PLAN THEME SPATIAL  ISSUE  IDENTIFIED CSRIP OBJECTIVE CSRIP POLICIES MOST RELEVANT OTHER FUTURE LDF POLICY
Promoting community safety Designing out crime as a means of promoting community safety 10 CP2
CP21
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Reducing the fear of crime through support for CCTV. 10 CP2
CP21
Town Centre AAP Policies TC35 and TC40
Providing housing and building communities Delivering new homes across a range of tenures 1, 2, 3, 4 CP6
CP7
CP8
CP16
CP17
Town Centre AAP Policy TC25.

DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Promoting balanced communities and housing markets 2, 3, 4, 9 CP7 Town Centre AAP Policy TC25. DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Meeting housing needs including special needs 1, 3, 4, 9 CP6
CP7
CP8
CP16
CP17
Town Centre AAP Policy TC25. DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Maintaining the quality of existing residential areas 10 CP2
CP21
Town Centre AAP Policy TC39. DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Utilising empty homes 4 CP2 Town Centre AAP Policy TC26. DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Keeping jobs and homes in balance 1, 2, 3 CP31 DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Building in high standards of design and energy efficiency 10, 12,15 CP2
CP21
CP26
Town Centre AAP Policies TC36,TC39 and TC41. DC policy in DCDPD, site specific guidance in A&DDPD and Climate Change SPD
Ensuring that infrastructure is available to meet the needs ofnew communities. 7, 13 CP1
CP11
CP19
CP22
CP27
CP28
CP29
CP30
CP31
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 –TC24 and TC36.
DC policy in DC DPD and sitespecific guidance in A&D DPD
Improving the environment Involving the community in improving the environment 16 CP19
CP21
CP22
CP23
CP24
CP25
Adopted SCI May 2006.Consultation Statement CSRIP and Town Centre AAP
Ensuring that new development is based on sustainable principles 2, 9 CP2
CP5
CP14
CP20
CP26
CP29
CP31
Town Centre AAP Strategic Policy and site specific policies.DC policy in DC DPD and sitespecific guidance in A&D DPD
Creating a network of green spaces 11 CP22
CP24
CP25
Town Centre AAP Policy TC31.  DC policy in DC DPD, site specific guidance in A&D DPD and Development Briefs for Local Plan housing allocations
Protecting the heritage and cultural value of the built environment 14 CP23 Town Centre AAP Policies TC9, TC10 and TC27.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Protecting the natural environment, biodiversity andlandscape. 11, 15 CP22
CP23
CP24
CP25
Town Centre AAP Policies TC31 and TC36.
DC policy in DC DPD and sites pecific guidance in A&D DPD
Improving health Strengthening the economy Supporting the development of local health services including GP surgeries. 13 CP30
CP31
Town Centre AAP Policy TC40 DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Bringing forward sites to encourage companies to locate in Bedford 1, 3, 6 CP10
CP11
CP18
CP31
Town Centre AAP site specific policies.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Supporting tourism related activities 14 CP19 Town Centre AAP Strategic Policy and Policy TC28.
DC policy in DC DPD
Delivering infrastructure to support the government growth agenda 2, 8, 13 CP19
CP27
CP28
CP30
CP31
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 –TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD, site specificguidance in A&D DPD and Development Briefs for Local Planhousing allocations
Improving connections to the strategic transport networks and reducing peak hour congestion in the urban area. 8 CP19
CP27
CP28
CP30
CP31
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 –TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Developing learning opportunities and skills Supporting access to education, training, education and employment. 1, 13 CP30 Town Centre AAP Policies TC2, TC5, TC6 and TC14.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Creating better transport Creating better, more sustainable, integrated transport networks for the Borough of Bedford. 8, 13 CP19
CP27
CP28
CP29
CP30
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 – TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Improve transport networks for the Borough of Bedford. 8, 13 CP19
CP27
CP28
CP29
CP30
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 – TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Improve transport networks for cars, bus, rail, cycle and walking. 8, 13 CP19
CP27
CP28
CP29
CP30
Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 – TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Provide park and ride. 8, 13 CP28 Town Centre AAP Policies TC18 – TC24 and TC40.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Promoting leisure Supporting leisure and cultural development 7, 13, 14 CP19
CP23
Town Centre AAP Policies TC9 and TC10.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Providing an infrastructure for leisure which in turn helps foster a sense of community 13 CP19 Town Centre AAP Policies TC9 and TC10.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Including everyone Creating mixed and balanced sustainable communities 2, 4 CP2
CP7
CP18
CP31
Town Centre AAP Policy TC25.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Providing the basis for a diverse economy 3, 5 CP10
CP11
CP18
Town Centre AAP Policies TC2, TC5, TC6 and TC7-TC17.
DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Providing infrastructure to enable all people to take their place in the community 13, 16 CP30 Town Centre AAP proposals. DC policy in DC DPD and site specific guidance in A&D DPD
Consulting widely. 16 CP31 Adopted SCI May 2006. Consultation Statement  CSRIP and Town Centre AAP

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