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Neighbourhood planning

The Localism Act 2011 reformed the planning system to give local people new opportunities to shape development of the communities in which they live. Follow the link to view the Government's 'plain English' guide to the Localism Act (PDF) for more information about the Act.

The Localism Act introduced a new tier of statutory plans to be prepared at the neighbourhood level by parish councils or town councils (where they exist) or in other areas, community members acting together as a neighbourhood forum.

Follow the link to view the Council's Neighbourhood Plans Guidance (PDF). It is important that you talk to us if you are thinking of preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, as they form a legal part of planning policy and must follow a formal process.

What the Council will do to help?

The Council has produced a note setting out how it will work with parish councils and neighbourhood forums undertaking neighbourhood planning.

Bedford Borough Council has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

In order to use maps produced by Bedford Borough Council in any publications, a public sector mapping agreement (PSMA) must be signed to allow sharing of maps that have been produced. Further information is available from Ordnance Survey here.

Please note that Bedford Borough Council cannot provide bespoke maps for the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Groups, but we can provide a Parish map. There are a number of private companies can produce and print maps for your documents.

Current consultations

There are currently no neighbourhood area designations under consultation.

Neighbourhood Area designations

The first stage in the neighbourhood planning process is the designation of a Neighbourhood Area. The proposed Neighbourhood Area will need to be formally approved by Bedford Borough Council.

Formal consultation will take place and any representations received will be considered before a final decision is made.

The Neighbourhood Areas that have been designated are shown on the map of Neighbourhood Areas (PDF)

Details of the designated Neighbourhood Areas are available here

Neighbourhood plans under preparation

Following the designation of a Neighbourhood Area, the Qualifying Body (in most cases this is the Parish Council) can prepare their Neighbourhood Development Plan. Websites for the designated Neighbourhood Areas are listed below.

Bletsoe -

Bromham -

Carlton -

Clapham -

Colmworth –

Cople -

Dean and Shelton -

Felmersham and Radwell -

Great Barford -

Great Denham –

Milton Ernest -

Oakley -

Pavenham -

Roxton -

Sharnbrook -

Stagsden -

Stevington -

Stewartby -

Thurleigh -

Wilden –

Wilshamstead -

Wootton -

Wyboston, Chawston and Colesden -


Community Infrastructure Levy

Bedford Borough Council introduced the Community Infrastructure Levy in April 2013. If there is an adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan, or Neighbourhood Development Order, this will have implications for the amount of funding for local infrastructure priorities that is passed to the parish councils (or to be used by the council for local infrastructure priorities in unparished areas) from developments granted planning permission.

The amount of funding is currently 25% of the CIL received from developments. Further information is available here.

Adjoining local authority websites

Some of the adjoining Local Authorities have adopted Neighbourhood Development Plans. Details of these are available on the following websites below.

Central Bedfordshire –

Huntingdonshire -

Wellingborough -

Milton Keynes –

East Northamptonshire –

Contact details -

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