Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

You are here: Planning Policy > Policies Map > Allocations and Desinations Local Plan 2013

14. Village Open Spaces and Views

14.1 The presence of open space in a village can be very important in defining the form and character of a village. In this context, the term open space includes any land that is not built on but has a role in giving a village its individual character. Open spaces may therefore include spaces between or around buildings which help to define the structure, form and character of the village, including where the land is privately owned. Some spaces may also provide views into or out of the village. Identified spaces are to be protected for one or more of these reasons, others have a particular amenity function that is important to protect e.g. sports fields or play areas.

14.2 The Village Open Space designation applies in the Rural Policy Area and  the Growth Area. Saved Policies H24 and H25 of the Local Plan seek to protect the defined Village Open Spaces in and on the edge of those villages that have a Settlement Policy Area boundary from development. Village open spaces are not identified elsewhere because development is subject to restrictive open countryside policies which protect these areas from development. An additional layer of protection is not required. Saved Policy H24 relating to the development of land within Settlement Policy Areas will be reviewed as part of the next Local Plan. Policy H25 is replaced by the policy below.

14.3 Further information for each of the Village Open Spaces / Views can be found in the Village Open Spaces and Views background paper.

Village Open Spaces and Views

Policy AD40 Village Open Spaces and Views

Open spaces which have particular importance in maintaining the function, character and identity of villages are identified on the Policies Map as Village Open Spaces. Open spaces have been identified as Village Open Spaces / Views where they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. They are publicly accessible and valuable to the local community for sport, recreation or as amenity space.
  2. They give identity to a settlement or village by helping to retain its form and reflect past history (examples include village greens).
  3. They provide a gap or break in the frontage which contributes to the character of a settlement for example by providing a view into a village which forms part of the village setting, or a view into open countryside establishing the relationship between the form of the village and the countryside beyond.
  4. The gap provides visual relief in an otherwise built up area punctuating the street scene.
  5. The open space assists the transition between village and countryside providing a soft edge to the village which is pleasing visually.

Development will not be permitted on land designated as a village open space or view unless it can be demonstrated that the reasons for designation are not compromised or that other material considerations outweigh the need to retain the Village Open Space or View undeveloped.

14.4 Open space within the urban area boundary is protected by a separate policy (see Chapter 16 Urban Open Spaces).

Village Open Spaces and Views

< Previous Chapter | Top of page | Next Chapter >