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APPENDIX A

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

A.1 The following documents have provided background information for the preparation of this plan.

A.2 Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 prepared by GVA Grimley, MVA and Urban Initiatives on behalf of Bedford Borough Council in association with English Partnerships, East of England Development Agency and Bedfordshire County Council.

A.3 This comprises:

Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 main document.

Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 Technical Document 1 Area Development Guidance.

Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 Technical Document 2 Transportation Strategy – Volume 1 and Volume 2 (Appendices).

Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 Technical Document 3 Urban Design Strategy.

Bedford Town Centre Development Framework Study March 2005 Technical Document 4 Retail Strategy.

Bedford Borough Council Retail Study September 2005 produced by GVA Grimley.

Bedford Town Centre Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – produced by the consultants WSP on behalf of the Borough Council.

Bedford Employment Land Study produced by the consultants Halcrow.

APPENDIX B

RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PLANS , POLICIES AND STRATEGIES INCLUDING REGIONAL & SUB - REGIONAL POLICY AUDIT

SUMMARY OF THE REGIONAL SPATIAL STRATEGY

B.1 The most recent revision to the regional spatial strategy is the East of England Plan (RSS14) which was published in December 2004. This has been the subject of an examination in public and is currently scheduled to be published by the government in 2007.

B.2 The RSS has the following spatial planning vision:

… to sustain and improve the quality of life for all people who live in, work in, or visit the region, by developing a more sustainable, prosperous and outward-looking region, whilst respecting its diversity and enhancing its assets.

B.3 In order to achieve this vision, the Plan contains a number of objectives. These are:

1. Increase prosperity and employment growth to meet identified employment needs of the region and achieve a more sustainable balance between workers and jobs.

2. Improve social inclusion and access to employment and services and leisure and tourist facilities among those who are disadvantaged.

3. Maintain and enhance cultural diversity while addressing the distinctive needs of different parts of the region.

4. Increase the regeneration and renewal of disadvantaged areas.

5. Deliver more integrated patterns of land use, movement, activity and development, including employment and housing.

6. Sustain and enhance the vitality of town centres.

7. Make more use of previously developed land and existing buildings, and use land more efficiently, in meeting future development needs.

8. Meet the region’s identified housing needs, and in particular provide sufficient affordable housing.

9. Protect and enhance the built and historic environment and encourage good quality design and use of sustainable construction methods for all new development.

10. Protect and enhance the natural environment, including its biodiversity and landscape character.

11. Minimise the demand for use of resources , particularly water, energy supplies, minerals, aggregates, and other natural resources, whether finite or renewable, by encouraging efficient use, re-use, or use of recycled alternatives, and trying to meet needs with minimum impact.

12. Minimise the environmental impact of travel, by reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly modes of transport, and widening the choice of modes.

13. Ensure that infrastructure programmes, whether for transport, utilities or social infrastructure, will meet current deficiencies and development requirements; and that the responsible agencies commit the resources needed to implement these programmes and co-ordinate delivery with development.

14. Minimise the risk of flooding.

B.4 The starting point for the regional spatial strategy is the aim to achieve sustainable development with development focused in or adjacent to major urban areas where there is good public transport accessibility and where strategic networks (rail, road, and bus) connect. In this respect, Bedford is identified as a key centre on which development and change will be focused.

B.5 Thriving, vibrant and attractive town centres are fundamental to the sustainable development of the East of England and these will continue to be the focus for investment, environmental enhancement and regeneration.

B.6 In terms of retail hierarchy, Bedford is classified as a regional centre and the strategy proposes that new retail development will be located in existing centres and be consistent in scale with the size and character of the centre and its role in the regional structure.

B.7 Proposals for development within the Bedford Growth Area are contained within the Milton Keynes & South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy which was published in March 2005. It contains a number of objectives and these are listed below:

1. 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 the skills of the workforce, particularly in the high value knowledge-based sectors.

3. Locate development in the main urban areas to support urban renaissance, regeneration of deprived areas, recycling of land and sustainable patterns of travel.

4. 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 greenspace 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 modes of travel.

6. To create sustainable communities by ensuring that economic, environmental, social and cultural infrastructure needs are met in step with growth.

B.8 In order to strengthen the existing role and function of Bedford as a regional centre, key priorities are the revitalisation of Bedford Town Centre and the provision of new employment in the town. Key priorities for Bedford and the northern Marston Vale are identified as:

1. Revitalising the town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities involving a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

2. Developing the local economy to provide a significant increase in employment, by identifying and fostering a range of growth sectors particularly in high value knowledge based sectors. This includes creating a focus for offices in the town centre through the provision of a range of accommodation.

3. Securing a higher rate of housing delivery principally through the implementation of existing commitments.

4. Reducing the need to travel and achieving a step change in the attractiveness of public transport, walking and cycling. Priorities include revitalising the bus station area and creating improved interchange arrangements including convenient and attractive access to railway stations; providing a cultural quarter near the town centre and an increased range of centrally located overnight accommodation.

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER DEVELOPMENT PLAN DOCUMENTS OR SAVED POLICIES

B.9 In accordance with the published Local Development Scheme, the Council has adopted a Core Strategy and Rural Issues Development Plan Document. This sets out a borough-wide spatial vision and includes a policy (Policy CP19) to promote the regeneration of the town centre. It also defines the retail hierarchy (Policy CP20) for the borough and both documents should be read together.

 

TABLE 3 LOCAL PLAN POLICIES SUPERSEDED BY THE PLAN

 

TOWN CENTRE AREA ACTION PLAN POLICY

LOCAL PLAN POLICY WHICH WILL BE REPLACED

 

Strategic Policy

BE1 Mixed uses But only in as far as it relates to the Town Centre

TC1

Definition of the Town Centre

TC1 Protecting architectural and historic features

TC2

Improving the retail offer

 

TC3

Primary Shopping Area and Primary Shopping Frontages

SH3 Primary shopping frontage

TC9 Office use in Primary Shopping Area

TC4

Secondary Shopping Frontages

TC6 Secondary shopping frontages

TC5

Office development

 

TC6

Office development sites

 

TC7

New Retail Quarter - Bedford Town Centre West

S2 Opportunity sites

BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

SH4 Pilgrim Square

TC8

New Retail Quarter - retail reinvestment and the High Street

TC3 Environmental improvements

TC9

Cultural Quarter – Castle Lane

S2 Opportunity sites

BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

TC10

Cultural Quarter – Bedford Museum/Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

S2 Opportunity sites

BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

TC11

Riverside Quarter – Riverside Square

S2 Opportunity sites

BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

T13 Pedestrian Routes But only in respect of Batts Ford footbridge

TC12

Riverside Quarter – Shire Hall and the Bank Building site

S2 Opportunity sites BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

TC13

Station Quarter – Bedford Station

 

TC14

St Mary’s Quarter

 

TC15

Kingsway Quarter

 

TC16

Land at Lime Street

S2 Opportunity sites

BE2 Mixed uses in opportunity sites

TC17

Progress Ford, The Broadway

 

TC18

Junction / Network improvements 2006-2011

 

TC19

Network improvements post 2011

T2 Local transportation network improvements But only in respect of the Prebend Street Relief Road

TC20

Development related network improvements

 

TC21

Walking and cycle routes

 

TC22

Pedestrians connections

 

TC23

Public transport interchange / services

 

TC24

Parking

 

TC25

Housing mix

 

TC26

Living over the Shop TC7

Living over the Shop

TC27

Heritage

TC1 Protecting architectural and historic features

TC28

Tourism

 

TC29

Riverside frontages

TC5 Riverside enhancements

TC30

Riverside development

TC5 Riverside enhancements

TC31

Biodiversity

 

TC32

Public spaces

TC3 Environmental improvements

TC33

Shop fronts

TC4 Shopfronts and advertisements

TC34

Town centre management

 

TC35

Town centre amenity

TC10 Town centre amenity

TC36

Redevelopment proposals

 

TC37

Leisure uses

 

TC38

Compulsory purchase

 

TC39

Urban design principles

 

TC40

Developer contributions

 

TC41

Submission requirements

 

Note: the above table presumes that the quarters will NOT be marked on the Proposals Map.

IMPACT OF OTHER LOCAL STRATEGIES INCLUDING THE COMMUNITY STRATEGY

B.10 The Community Plan for the Borough of Bedford 2004-2010, was produced by the Bedford Partnership Board which is the Local Strategic Partnership for the Borough. The Community Plan has nine key themes.

They are:

1. Promoting Community Safety

2. Providing Housing and Building Communities

3. Improving the Environment

4. Improving Health

5. Strengthening the Economy

6. Developing Learning Opportunities and Skills

7. Creating Better Transport

8. Promoting Leisure

9. Including Everyone.

B.11 In devising the policies and proposals of this Area Action Plan the Council has had regard to these and the objectives and actions which flow from them. The intention is to ensure that this Area Action Plan is consistent with and help to deliver the community plan.

B.12 A fundamental objective of the community plan and of this Area Action Plan is to regenerate Bedford town centre. An integral part of the Plan’s strategy to achieve this is the redevelopment of key sites for a mix of uses, combined with transportation improvements, improved connections and high quality urban design.

B.13 Following receipt of Go-East’s response to the preferred option, outside agencies such as utility bodies, health, education and the emergency services were contacted and asked to confirm or otherwise if the Area Action Plan and the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan were consistent with their plans and strategies for the borough as a whole and Bedford town centre in particular.

B.14 They were also asked to identify if there was any degree of inconsistency, which areas of the Plan would impinge on their respective service areas and how this could be overcome.

B.15 The Service Manager (Housing) confirmed that the above plans are consistent with both the Bedford Housing Strategy 2004/2007 and the Bedfordshire Sub-Regional Housing Strategy 2005/2010.

B.16 The only other response was on behalf of the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) seeking inclusion of a policy for telecommunications in one of the Council’s local development documents. Whilst this will be considered in due course, it is not appropriate that such a general policy is included in the Area Action Plan.

REGIONAL AND SUB - REGIONAL POLICY AUDIT

B.17 Table 4 sets out the Area Action Plan objectives and shows that these are in general conformity with the draft East of England Plan, the Milton Keynes & South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy and the Bedford Borough Council Community Plan 2004-2010.

TABLE 4 - REGIONAL/SUB-REGIONAL POLICY AUDIT

 

IMPACT OF OTHER LOCAL STRATEGIES INCLUDING THE COMMUNITY STRATEGY

DRAFT EAST OF ENGLAND PLAN

MILTON KEYNES SOUTH MIDLANDS SUB-REGIONAL STRATEGY (MKSM SRS)

BEDFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL COMMUNITY PLAN 2004-2010

CONSISTENCY OF THE PLAN’S OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES WITH THESE OTHER DOCUMENTS

To provide a framework for the regeneration of the town centre.

Sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres.

Make more use of previously developed land and existing buildings, and use land more efficiently, in meeting future development needs.

Support for the economy across the region, but particularly focusing on areas with particular need for regeneration.

Increase prosperity and employment growth to meet identified employment needs of the region and achieve a more sustainable balance between workers and jobs.

Policy SS5

Thriving, vibrant and attractive town centres are fundamental to the sustainable development of the East of England and they will continue to be the focus for investment, environmental enhancement and regeneration…

Policy SS11 identifies Bedford/ Kempston as a priority area for regeneration within the eastern region.

Locate development in the main urban areas to support urban renaissance, regeneration of deprived areas, recycling of land and sustainable patterns of travel.

Objective: To have a borough where the environment is a key component of social and economic development.

Action: Ensure that all development contributes to the principles of sustainable development

The strategy for the town centre has regeneration at its heart through the redevelopment of primarily previously developed sites, the promotion of mixed used developments and greater residential use to enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre. In addition the plan proposes a number of measures which will improve the environment within the centre. Combined with significant new investment in infrastructure, all of these measures will contribute towards Bedford’s renaissance (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC2, TC7-17, TC18-24, TC26, TC29, TC32, TC33, and TC37).

In terms of sustainable development, all of the policies for the key sites include a requirement for the incorporation of sustainable forms of construction, energy conservation measures and renewable energy (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC7-17).

 

 

Achieving the revitalisation of Bedford town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities. This will involve completing a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

Objective: To have a borough which makes more efficient and effective use of resources.

Action: Promote the use of sustainable transport systems.

The plan aims to revitalise the town centre by increasing the retail, cultural and leisure offer through the redevelopment of key sites. The plan also seeks to promote the greater use of sustainable transport systems including walking, cycling, public transport and park and ride (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17 and TC21-23).

 

Minimise the risk of flooding.

 

Objective: To have a natural environment where biodiversity, landscape and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

Action: Comply with government guidance in relation to development in land liable to flood and promote its multifunctional use for water level management, biodiversity and recreation.

The plan includes a policy (TC31) on biodiversity and refers to the conclusions of the strategic flood risk assessment carried out for the town centre.

 

 

Developing cultural and heritage focused tourism in Bedford by enhancing existing - and providing new – cultural and heritage facilities and attractions, and by providing a cultural quarter near the town centre and an increased range of centrally located overnight accommodation.

Vision: To promote and encourage a rich variety of arts, leisure and cultural activities for all to derive pleasure, relaxation and fulfilment.

Local Priority: Provide sustainable sports, arts, heritage, parks and recreational facilities and activities.

Objective: To have a built environment whose heritage and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

Objective: To have a natural environment where biodiversity, landscape and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

The plan includes a policy (TC31) on biodiversity and establishes a cultural quarter (TC9 &10). Policy TC27 aims to protect and where appropriate enhance the architectural, archaeological and historic features of the centre and tourism is encouraged in Policy TC28.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre as a whole whilst promoting reinvestment in the existing retail centre including the High Street.

Sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres.

Make more use of previously developed land and existing buildings, and use land more efficiently, in meeting future development needs.

Support for the economy across the region, but particularly focusing on areas with particular need for regeneration.

Increase prosperity and employment growth to meet identified employment needs of the region and achieve a more sustainable balance between workers and jobs.

Policy SS5

Thriving, vibrant and attractive town centres are fundamental to the sustainable development of the East of England and they will continue to be the focus for investment, environmental enhancement and regeneration……

Policy SS11 identifies

Bedford/Kempston as a priority area for regeneration within the eastern region.

Locate development in the main urban areas to support urban renaissance, regeneration of deprived areas, recycling of land and sustainable patterns of travel.

Achieving the revitalisation of Bedford town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities. This will involve completing a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

Objective: To have a built environment whose heritage and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

The strategy for the town centre has regeneration at its heart through the redevelopment of primarily previously developed sites, the promotion of mixed used developments and greater residential use to enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre. In addition the plan proposes a number of measures which will improve the environment within the centre. Combined with significant new investment in infrastructure, all of these measures will contribute towards Bedford’s renaissance (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC2, TC7-17, TC18-24, TC26, TC29, TC32, TC33, and TC37).

In addition, Policy TC8 focuses reinvestment in the existing centre including the provision of high quality shopfronts and the refurbishment of existing buildings. The need to protect Bedford’s heritage is addressed in Policy TC 27.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To create a more diverse and vital mix of uses including a major increase in the town’s retail offer.

Sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres.

Achieving the revitalisation of Bedford town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities. This will involve completing a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

Priority: To improve access to primary health and hospital services and information about health and those issues which affect health.

The strategy for the town centre has regeneration at its heart through the redevelopment of primarily previously developed sites, the promotion of mixed used developments and greater residential use to enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC2, TC7-17, and TC26).

The plan aims to revitalise the town centre by increasing the retail, cultural and leisure offer through the redevelopment of key sites (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17).

Whilst the plan does not make a specific allocation for healthcare facilities within the town centre, it does indicate that contributions to healthcare facilities may be appropriate.

 

 

Developing the local economy to provide significant increase in employment, by identifying and fostering a range of growth sectors, particularly in high value knowledge-based sectors, with appropriate effort going into business support and skills development.

To provide for a commensurate level of economic growth and developing the skills of the workforce, particularly in the high value knowledge-based sectors

This will include creating a focus for offices in the town centre, through the provision of a range of accommodation.

Vision: To improve the economic well being of Bedford borough’s existing and future residents by achieving higher levels of growth in the local economy than would otherwise occur – making a difference to prosperity.

Vision: The Bedford Partnership Board has adopted a clear vision to guide the strengthening of the local economy. This requires a business development strategy that champions Bedford’s Economy by encouraging:

  • local firms to invest in the borough

  • more businesses to move to the borough

  • investment in our workforce

Objective: To encourage Bedford’s business community to reinvest, stay competitive and expand its markets, products and workforce.

Objective: To encourage companies to locate their business in the borough.

Objective: To ensure that Bedford’s labour force is of a sufficient size and appropriately skilled to encourage investment and the participation of all in employment.

Actions include: Town centre renaissance, hotel and tourism development, seek infrastructure improvements, the provision of suitable employment sites and increasing the labour supply.

 

The plan aims to revitalise the town centre by increasing the retail, cultural and leisure offer through the redevelopment of key sites (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17).

In addition it seeks to strengthen the local economy by the creation of a new office quarter focused on the railway station and by identifying the potential for offices at some of the other key sites. (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC5-6, TC13, TC15 and TC16). These will provide a range of different business locations which may be attractive to the high value knowledge based employment sectors.

 

 

 

Vision: To promote and encourage a rich variety of arts, leisure and cultural activities for all to derive pleasure, relaxation and fulfilment.

The plan aims to revitalise the town centre by increasing the retail, cultural and leisure offer through the redevelopment of key sites (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17). It also seeks to establish a cultural quarter (TC9 &10). Conclusion This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKS

 

To achieve the successful integration of new development with the existing town centre.

Deliver more integrated patterns of land use, movement, activity and development, including employment and housing.

 

 

The proposed business quarter focused on the railway station is consistent with the Draft East of England Plan (see Strategic Policy and Policy TC13).

In identifying the key areas of change, the plan considers the need to achieve integration in terms of walking and cycling routes, links to the existing centre and public transport interchanges. By way of example, the proposals for Castle Lane seek to transform what is essentially a backwater into a new cultural quarter which is integral to the existing and expanded town centre.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan.

 

To strengthen the economy of the town centre and its role as an employment, administrative and educational centre.

Support for the economy across the region, but particularly focusing on areas with particular need for regeneration.

Increase prosperity and employment growth to meet identified employment needs of the region and achieve a more sustainable balance between workers and jobs.

Policy SS11 identifies Bedford/Kempston as a priority area for regeneration within the eastern region.

Developing the local economy to provide significant increase in employment, by identifying and fostering a range of growth sectors, particularly in high value knowledge-based sectors, with appropriate effort going into business support and skills development.

To provide for a commensurate level of economic growth and developing the skills of the workforce, particularly in the high value knowledge-based sectors

This will include creating a focus for offices in the town centre, through the provision of a range of accommodation.

Vision: To improve the economic well being of Bedford borough’s existing and future residents by achieving higher levels of growth in the local economy than would otherwise occur – making a difference to prosperity.

Vision: The Bedford Partnership Board has adopted a clear vision to guide the strengthening of the local economy. This requires a business development strategy that champions Bedford’s economy by encouraging:

  • local firms to invest in the borough

  • more businesses to move to the borough

  • investment in our workforce

Objective: To encourage Bedford’s business community to reinvest, stay competitive and expand its markets, products and workforce.

Objective: To encourage companies to locate their business in the borough.

Objective: To ensure that Bedford’s labour force is of a sufficient size and appropriately skilled to encourage investment and the participation of all in employment.

Actions include: Town centre renaissance, hotel and tourism development, seek infrastructure improvements, the provision of suitable employment sites and increasing the labour supply.

The plan aims to revitalise the town centre by increasing the retail, cultural and leisure offer through the redevelopment of key sites (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17). In addition it seeks to strengthen the local economy by the creation of a new office quarter focused on the railway station and by identifying the potential for offices at some of the other key sites. (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC5- 6, TC13, TC15 and TC16). These will provide a range of different business locations which may be attractive to the high value knowledge based employment sectors.

The plan also recognises the role of Bedford College within the town centre and provides guidance for development opportunities within the St Mary’s quarter (see Policy TC14).

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To improve access to the town centre through the provision of new public transport interchanges, new highway infrastructure, public transport priority when feasible, the use of park and ride facilities and improved facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, taxis and private hire vehicles. Where and when highway capacity can be increased, priority should be given to modes other than private cars.

Deliver more integrated patterns of land use, movement, activity and development, including employment and housing.

Minimise the environmental impact of travel, by reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly modes of transport and widening choice of modes.

Ensure that infrastructure programmes, whether for transport, utilities or social infrastructure, will meet current deficiencies and development requirements; and that the responsible agencies commit the resources needed to implement these programmes and coordinate delivery with development.

Reducing the need to travel by private vehicle by integrating land use and transport planning, achieving a step-change in the attractiveness of public transport, including through quality bus corridors and park and ride schemes, improving the attractiveness of walking and cycling, and implementing travel demand management measures.

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 modes of travel.

Priorities will include revitalising the Bedford bus station area and creating improved interchange arrangements, including convenient and attractive access to railway stations.

Objective: To have a borough which makes more efficient and effective use of resources.

Action: Promote the use of sustainable transport systems.

Objective: To have an enhanced and diverse network of green spaces and access corridors.

Action: Improve pedestrian and cycle access across the network throughout the borough.

Vision: To create better, more sustainable, integrated transport networks for the borough of Bedford.

Local priorities: Rectify incomplete or poor transport networks for car, LGV, bus, rail, cycle and walking modes. Provision of park and ride system.

Local priorities: Provision and encouragement of use of more sustainable, convenient transport modes.

Local priorities: Improve poor transport interchanges and access to Bedford town centre. Local priorities: Improve access to fringe areas around Bedford town centre.

The plan seeks to promote the greater use of sustainable transport systems including walking, cycling, public transport and park and ride. (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC21-23). In addition, it supports further bids through the Local Transport Plan process to support a range of improvements for the town centre including a new river crossing.

The plan also seeks to improve the bus and railway stations and interchange facilities. The Bedford bus station is identified as a key area of change (see Policies TC7, and TC18-20.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To improve the number and quality of the connections within the town centre, and between the centre and the river and railway station.

Deliver more integrated patterns of land use, movement, activity and development, including employment and housing.

Minimise the environmental impact of travel, by reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly modes of transport, and widening choice of modes.

Reducing the need to travel by private vehicle by integrating land use and transport planning, achieving a step-change in the attractiveness of public transport, including through quality bus corridors and park and ride schemes, improving the attractiveness of walking and cycling, and implementing travel demand management measures.

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 modes of travel.

Priorities will include revitalising the Bedford bus station area and creating improved interchange arrangements, including convenient and attractive access to railway stations.

Objective: To have an enhanced and diverse network of green spaces and access corridors. Action: Improve pedestrian and cycle access across the network throughout the borough. Vision: To create better, more sustainable, integrated transport networks for the borough of Bedford.

Local priorities: Rectify incomplete or poor transport networks for car, LGV, bus, rail, cycle and walking modes. Provision of park and ride system. Local priorities: Provision and encouragement of use of more sustainable, convenient transport modes.

Local priorities: Improve poor transport interchanges and access to Bedford town centre. Local priorities: Improve access to fringe areas around Bedford town centre.

The plan seeks to promote the greater use of sustainable transport systems including walking, cycling, public transport and park and ride. (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC21-23). In addition, it supports further bids through the Local Transport Plan process to support a range of improvements for the town centre including a new river crossing. The plan also seeks to improve the bus and railway stations and interchange facilities.

The Bedford bus station is identified as a key area of change (see Policies TC7, and TC18-20.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To achieve a significant growth in town centre living in order to enhance the vitality and viability of the centre.

and

To provide affordable housing in a managed town centre reflecting the needs of the community with the aim of securing a mixed and balanced town centre community.

Meet the region’s identified housing needs, and in particular provide sufficient affordable housing.

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.

Key theme: Providing Housing and Building Communities

Vision: Ensuring the availability of sufficient, suitable and affordable good quality homes and to create sustainable communities in which people want to live.

Standard: The product range for meeting people’s housing aspirations needs to meet different household needs and affordability criteria needs to be linked to a range of incomes.

Standard:Within new developments planning of affordable homes will require a range of tenure applications in addition to owner occupation and social rented housing e.g. market and sub market rented, shared equity and low cost market sales.

Standard: Within these tenures the objective will be to provide housing for key workers, housing for people with disabilities and/or support needs, affordable homes for people on lower incomes having full regard to both urban and rural housing needs/expectations.

The plan promotes residential use on a number of key sites, either as the primary use or as part of mixed use schemes. These also make provision for affordable housing. It also expects schemes to include a mix and range of house types, tenures and sizes to reflect the needs of the community. ‘Living over the shop’ schemes are also encouraged (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC7-17, and TC25-26).

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To protect, promote and enhance Bedford’s natural and built heritage, cultural attractions and role as a tourist destination as an integral part of the strategy to regenerate the town centre.

Protect and enhance the built and historic environment and encourage good quality design and use of sustainable construction methods for all new development.

Protect and enhance the natural environment, including its biodiversity and landscape character.

Developing cultural and heritage focused tourism in Bedford by enhancing existing - and providing new – cultural and heritage facilities and attractions, and by providing a cultural quarter near the town centre and an increased range of centrally located overnight accommodation.

Achieving the revitalisation of Bedford town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities. This will involve completing a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

Objective: To have a natural environment where biodiversity, landscape and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

Action: Comply with government guidance in relation to development in land liable to flood and promote its multifunctional use for water level management, biodiversity and recreation.

Vision: To promote and encourage a rich variety of arts, leisure and cultural activities for all to derive pleasure, relaxation and fulfilment.

Local Priority: Provide sustainable sports, arts, heritage, parks and recreational facilities and activities.

Objective: To have a built environment whose heritage and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations. Objective: To have a natural environment where biodiversity, landscape and cultural value is understood, protected and enhanced for future generations.

The plan seeks to protect and where appropriate enhance the architectural, archaeological and historic features of the town centre, promote tourism, enhance the quality of the riverside environment and conserve and where appropriate enhance biodiversity (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC27-31). It also seeks to establish a cultural quarter (TC9 &10).

The plan refers to the conclusions of the strategic flood risk assessment carried out for the town centre.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

To achieve high quality urban design with high quality materials and finishes.

Protect and enhance the built and historic environment and encourage good quality design and use of sustainable construction methods for all new development.

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 greenspace and related infrastructure (green infrastructure).

Existing and new homes should meet the highest standards in terms of design, including energy efficiency and, where appropriate, meet the needs of people with disabilities.

The plan contains a number of urban design principles which will be a material consideration when planning applications are determined (Policy TC39). Applicants are also required to submit an urban design statement to show how these principles have been addressed and how development has responded to a detailed analysis of the local context (Policy TC 41).

In terms of sustainable development, all of the policies for the key sites include a requirement for the incorporation of sustainable forms of construction, energy conservation measures and renewable energy. (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC7-17)

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To create a town centre which is safe, attractive and in which people will want to live, shop, work and spend their leisure time.

Sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres.

Policy SS5

Thriving, vibrant and attractive town centres are fundamental to the sustainable development of the East of England and they will continue to be the focus for investment, environmental enhancement and regeneration……

Achieving the revitalisation of Bedford town centre and enhancing retail, cultural and leisure facilities. This will involve completing a range of redevelopment, refurbishment and environmental improvement projects.

Vision: To promote and encourage a rich variety of arts, leisure and cultural activities for all to derive pleasure, relaxation and fulfilment.

Local Priority: Provide sustainable sports, arts, heritage, parks and recreational facilities and activities.

Vision:Working together for safer communities. Priorities include: Drugs and alcohol issues, violent crime, quality of life, environmental crime, and anti-social behaviour.

The strategy for the town centre has regeneration at its heart through the redevelopment of primarily previously developed sites, the promotion of mixed used developments and greater residential use to enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre. In addition the plan proposes a number of measures which will improve the environment within the centre. Combined with significant new investment in infrastructure, all of these measures will contribute towards Bedford’s renaissance (see Strategic Policy, and Policies TC2, TC7-17, TC18-24, TC26, TC29, TC32, TC33, and TC37).

The plan also seeks to establish a cultural quarter (TC9 &10).

Policies TC34 and 35 deal with town centre management and amenity issues including extensions to the existing CCTV system.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan, MKSM SRS and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To achieve high quality public realm improvements including provision for management and maintenance.

Protect and enhance the built and historic environment and encourage good quality design and use of sustainable construction methods for all new development.

 

Vision: To protect and improve the environment within the borough of Bedford through sustainable development and management.

Activity Area: Promote the attractiveness of Bedford.

Action: Pride in Bedford – Bedford – Festival Town.

Town centre events programme.

Town centre renaissance.

Town centre public space improvement programme.

To have an enhanced and diverse network of green spaces and access corridors.

Vision:Working together for safer communities.

Priorities include: Drugs and alcohol issues, violent crime, quality of life, environmental crime, and anti-social behaviour.

The plan seeks to create a series of new public spaces and high quality public realm. In addition the detrafficking of St. Paul’s Sq. North and the High Street will provide opportunities for environmental enhancement. The policy for Riverside Square includes a requirement for a grand public square for Bedford. The opportunity to create new public spaces along the river corridor is also highlighted (see Strategic Policy and Policies TC11, TC30 and TC32).

Policies TC34 and 35 deal with town centre management and amenity issues including extensions to the existing CCTV system.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan and the borough council’s community plan.

 

To ensure that new development and other partner agencies contribute to the delivery of the Council’s strategy for the town centre as a whole, including the provision of infrastructure.

Ensure that infrastructure programmes, whether for transport, utilities or social infrastructure, will meet current deficiencies and development requirements; and that the responsible agencies commit the resources needed to implement these programmes and coordinate delivery with development.

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 modes of travel.

To create sustainable communities by ensuring that economic, environmental, social and cultural infrastructure needs are met in step with growth.

 

The plan makes provision for a range of different infrastructure to be secured through development contributions and the Local Transport Plan. Further details are set out in the Implementation Framework. Policy TC40 sets out the Council’s approach to developer contributions and their scope.

Conclusion

This objective and the policies in the plan are consistent with the draft East of England Plan and MKSM SRS.

 

APPENDIX C

IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK

INTRODUCTION

C.1 The town centre is a key corporate and community priority. This Area Action Plan will need to play a full role in achieving a dramatic change in the fortunes of Bedford Town Centre. Much has been accomplished in the last few years to raise expectations and to foster investor confidence and such work will need to continue if the Vision is to be realised. The pace at which change occurs will be influenced by prevailing market conditions and inevitably there is greater certainty about delivery in the earlier part of the plan period than in the later part. With this caveat, the framework attempts to set out how the Area Action Plan’s policies and proposals will be delivered, by whom and by when.

PROGRAMME FOR DELIVERY

The Area Action Plan comprises both general and site specific policies. General policies are reactive as they set the approach to be taken when planning applications are received. Specific policies are dynamic in that they propose the development and use of particular sites. Implementation issues are considered below by theme. Details are shown on Table 5.

  • A MORE COMPETITIVE RETAIL AND COMMERCIALLY ACTIVE CENTRE

The Strategic Policy and Policies TC1 to TC6 are general policies which will be implemented through the development control process as and when proposals arise. The effectiveness of these policies will depend upon the scale of development activity and will be assessed through monitoring. The retail floorspace provision target set out in Policy TC2 has not been fully allocated in the Plan. The Plan concentrates on the delivery of three key sites expected to deliver 31,200 sq.m. of retail floorspace. If monitoring indicates that the amount of additional retail floorspace allocated on the three sites is not likely to be delivered in line with predictions and, in any event, before the end of 2011, the Council will undertake a thorough review of its strategy for the provision of retail floorspace to consider the reasons behind any failure of provision, any need for additional floorspace and the extent of the Primary Shopping Area in order to take the regeneration effort forward to 2016 and possibly beyond.

  • A MORE STRUCTURED AND DISTINCTIVE CENTRE

Policies TC7 to TC17 relate to specific sites and proposals that will be implemented in accordance with the programme set out in table 5 and as below.

 

TC7 - BEDFORD TOWN CENTRE WEST

This is a major redevelopment project to be implemented and funded by a private sector developer. The scheme is the subject of formal development agreements and a planning application was submitted during 2006. The Borough Council has resolved to use CPO powers to assist land assembly if required. Highway implications are dealt with at TC20 below.

 

TC8 : NEW RETAIL QUARTER , RETAIL INVESTMENT AND HIGH STREET INITIATIVE

The re-establishment of a successful retail presence in the High Street will require the collective action of the Borough Council, Bedford Town Centre Company, Renaissance Bedford and Bedfordshire County Council as highway authority. The Borough Council will prepare a strategy in consultation and encourage private sector participation using grant aid where appropriate. The potential to reduce traffic levels and improve air quality will be pursued. Action needs to be taken when Bedford Town Centre West is under construction to maximize impact.

 

TC9 : CASTLE LANE

This redevelopment project is to be implemented and largely funded by a private sector developer. The scheme is the subject of a formal development agreement and a planning application was submitted during 2006. Growth Area Funding (£2.7m) has been earmarked to assist project viability due to archaeological site constraints.

 

TC10 : CECIL HIGGINS ART GALLERY & BEDFORD MUSEUM

A major refurbishment scheme is being promoted by the Borough Council using Council (£2m), Growth Area (£2.5m) and Heritage Lottery (£4.5m) funds together with private sector donations. The scale of the project is dependent upon the outcome of the HLF bid in September 2006. The residential element of this project would be implemented separately.

 

TC11 : RIVERSIDE SQUARE

This is an important redevelopment project to be implemented and funded by a private sector developer. The scheme is the subject of a formal development agreement and a planning application was submitted during 2006.

 

TC12 : SHIRE HALL AND BANK BUILDING SITE

Various schemes for the refurbishment of these buildings have been discussed over the years and HM Court Services is undecided as to whether the Magistrates’ Courts should be refurbished or relocated. The policy will become operative when proposals come forward from government. In these circumstances no implementation programme is offered.

 

TC13 : BEDFORD STATION QUARTER

Consultants have been contracted to explore development options through a masterplanning process with the view to achieving an attractive outline planning permission for the site and generating market interest in redevelopment. A planning application was submitted in 2008.

 

TC14 : ST MARY'S QUARTER

Bedford College and Bedfordshire County Council are encouraged to bring forward proposals to create an active face to the river. Bridging proposals are contained within Policies TC11 and TC19.

 

TC15 : KINGSWAY QUARTER

The Borough Council will prepare a development brief in order to encourage the private sector to bring forward further proposals.

 

TC16 : LAND AT LIME STREET

The redevelopment potential of this site was recognised by the Local Plan 2002 but as yet no proposals have been received.

 

TC17 : PROGRESS FORD

The site has been marketed and a preferred developer appointed. It is likely that an application will be submitted during 2006 and that redevelopment could commence in 2007.

 

  • A BETTER CONNECTED AND MORE ACCESSIBLE CENTRE

C.3 The implementation of Policies TC18 and TC19 rely upon the highway authority (Bedfordshire County Council - to be Bedford Unitary from April 2009) and the success it has in raising public and private funds. Policy TC20 relates to TC7. Policies TC21 to TC23 provide the basis for introducing service and network improvement as and when the opportunity arises either as part of development proposals or publicly funded schemes. Policy TC24 is a matter for the highway authority and the Joint Parking Board and will need to be kept under review during the plan period. The Council will monitor rates of infrastructure delivery and traffic levels within the Plan area. Where additional network capacity is unlikely to be delivered within the plan period, the strategy of this plan will need to be reviewed. Any such review will also take into account any subsequent review of the East of England Plan (RSS14).

 

TC18 : JUNCTION & NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS 2006 - 2012

The installation of a new traffic management and control system will be implemented first, followed by the other elements of this policy. These projects will be funded by the County Council unless developer contributions are indicated following travel assessments.

 

TC19 : NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS POST 2012

The LTP2 includes Bedford Town Centre Improvements (inc River Bridge) as a major £25m scheme for implementation in 2011/12

 

TC20 : DEVELOPMENT RELATED NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS

Certain highway works will be required as part of the Bedford Town Centre West site and will be developer funded.

  • A MORE LIVEABLE AND ATTRACTIVE CENTRE

Policies TC25 to TC33 are general policies which will be implemented through the development control process as and when proposals arise. The effectiveness of these policies will depend upon the scale of development activity and will be assessed through monitoring.

  • A WELL MANAGED CENTRE

Policies TC34 and TC35 are general policies which will be implemented through the development control process as and when proposals arise. The effectiveness of these policies will depend upon the scale of development activity and will be assessed through monitoring.

  • GENERAL POLICIES

Policies TC36 to TC41 are general policies which will be implemented through the development control process as and when proposals arise. The effectiveness of these policies will depend upon the scale of development activity and will be assessed through monitoring.

FUNDING

C.4 The implementation of the Area Action Plan is heavily dependent on the necessary public and private funds becoming available at the right time. Overall, the funding climate is positive. The market has strengthened in recent years with the result that a number of developers are actively pursuing both commercial and residential schemes in the town centre. The regeneration of Bedford town centre is now public policy at national and regional level which means that projects will receive added priority in the programmes sponsored by central Government and government agencies.

C.5 Funding has also been made available locally by the Borough Council (£7.7m since 1995 and £2.2m in the current capital programme) and by the town centre business community who in 2005 voted for a Business Improvement District which is generating £0.5m per year for town centre promotion and management purposes.

C.6 Table 5 indicates the source(s) of funding related to individual policies and proposals contained in the Area Action Plan. Where the funding source is shown as ‘private’ the policy/proposal is regarded as requiring to be financed through development (Policy TC40 refers).

PROJECT DELIVERY

C.7 Table 5 also indicates the delivery agent(s) related to individual policies and proposals contained in the Area Action Plan. The role and responsibilities of the statutory authorities are clear and locally there is a good track record of working in partnership. Renaissance Bedford (LDV) has a particular role in championing the town centre in public sector funding rounds/opportunities and in providing technical support to projects like Bedford Station Quarter (Policy TC14).

C.8 Delivery of the Area Action Plan will require a dedicated resource. A team will be required that can draw upon skills in the fields of planning, regeneration, surveying, design, marketing and project management. This will be achieved, in the most part, through redirection of existing resources within the partner authorities.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

C.9 Town centre regeneration is an ongoing process that the Borough Council has driven forward for several years and engagement with the public and other stakeholders has been central to these efforts. Three full scale exhibitions have been staged since 2001 to examine issues, options and solutions. Participation rates were high as were the levels of endorsement received. These exhibitions pre-dated the statutory consultation required in the production of the Area Action Plan. Consultation with the business community within the town centre in association with the BID Business Plan was also intense. However, these exercises are not seen as the end of the process and the Council will continue to provide additional non-statutory consultation to encourage the public and stakeholders to help shape and take ownership of the initiatives.

 

TABLE 5 - IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMME

 

TABLE 5 - IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMME\

 

TABLE 5A - TOWN CENTRE HOUSING TRAJECTORY

TABLE 5A - TOWN CENTRE HOUSING TRAJECTORY

 

 

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