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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning is a way local people can shape development of the communities in which they live.

The Localism Act 2011 reformed the planning system and 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.

View the Government's 'plain English' guide to the Localism Act (PDF) for more information about the Act.

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.

View the Council's Neighbourhood Plans Guidance (PDF).

There are also Neighbourhood planning frequently asked questions available.

Consultations

The consultations on the Carlton and Chellington and Oakley Neighbourhood Development Plans have now closed.

The responses received to consultations, the consultation documents and examination information can be found by clicking the links below:

There are currently no Neighbourhood Plan consultations. For more information see Neighbourhood plans under preparation below.

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.

There are currently no neighbourhood area designations under consultation.

If you wish to submit an application for a Neighbourhood Area, please contact planningpolicy@bedford.gov.uk.

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

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 available to view by clicking the name in the table below.

Name

Neighbourhood Area designation

Pre-submission consultation

Submission consultation

Examination

Referendum

Date made

Brickhill

8 September 2016

Bletsoe

1 July 2013

15 September - 31 October 2018

Bromham

18 August 2014

25 February – 8 April 2019

Cardington

8 June 2016

Carlton and Chellington

17 March 2016

25 May – 6 July 2018

12 June - 25 July 2019

12 August to 15 October 2019

Clapham

11 July 2013

7 June - 20 July 2019

Colmworth

20 February 2015

Cople

30 July 2015

Dean and Shelton

30 July 2015

Felmersham and Radwell

3 November 2015

Great Barford

23 April 2015

Great Denham

7 January 2014

Harrold

26 July 2016

Milton Ernest

1 July 2013

Oakley

14 November 2013

19 September – 31 October 2018

12 June - 25 July 2019

15 August 2019

Pavenham

20 June 2014

Pertenhall and Swineshead

11 April 2017

Ravensden

23 October 2019

Riseley

14 March 2018

Roxton

5 November 2014

Sharnbrook

27 September 2017

Stagsden

11 September 2015

Stevington

28 November 2013

23 April - 10 July 2019

Stewartby

26 November 2013

Thurleigh

1 July 2013

8 June - 20 July 2019

Turvey

19 April 2017

6 November - 18 December 2019

Wilden

14 November 2013

Willington

25 November 2015

23 October - 9 December 2019 

Wilstead

22 February 2017

Wootton

9 June 2015

Wyboston, Chawston and Colesden

12 November 2014

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 (BRCC) to assist with neighbourhood planning. If you require advice please contact planningpolicy@bedford.gov.uk in the first instance.

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.

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

Further details the about use of Ordnance Survey based information is available in the OS mapping briefing note (PDF).

Guidance

  • Neighbourhood Planning Roadmap Guide – Locality has produced a comprehensive guide to neighbourhood planning and the document is a useful introduction to the process.
  • Funding – The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have made funding available to provide support for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and this is administered by Locality. For groups writing a neighbourhood plan or preparing a neighbourhood development order up to £8,000 will be available. A further £6,000 is available for more complex issues, however this is subject to meeting further criteria. Full details of how to apply. The cost of the examination and referendum will be met by Bedford Borough Council.
  • Planning Aid has a lot of useful information on their website including guidance notes, case studies and videos. Their guidance notes are available here: neighbourhoodplanning.org/resources
  • Locality has produced a guidance note for carrying out housing needs assessments for neighbourhood plans. Use the guide How to undertake a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA).
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - Government advice and guidance on neighbourhood planning can be found on the Planning Portal website.
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government produces a bulletin on national progress in neighbourhood planning. Follow the link to view the bulletins.
  • Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012
  • Green Infrastructure Plans – Green infrastructure is an important part of development and to provide evidence in the Neighbourhood Plan, the qualifying body may choose to commission a Green Infrastructure Plan. Further details on what this will involve is outlined Green Infrastructure Plan briefing note (PDF).
  • Historic Environment – the historic environment is one theme that a Neighbourhood Plan may cover. Further information is available in this briefing note produced by the Historic Environment Team at Bedford Borough.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

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.

Infrastructure issues

Infrastructure should be considered as part of a Neighbourhood Plan, particularly when development sites are to be included as allocations. The qualifying body should consider what additional infrastructure may be needed to cater for future development and how this may be delivered. It would also be useful to consider what the likely impacts on proposed site allocations would be on the existing services. Contact should be made in at an early stage of the plan process with the infrastructure providers.

Adjoining local authority with adopted neighbourhood plans

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

Contact details

For further information, please contact planningpolicy@bedford.gov.uk