A Neighbourhood Plan for Biggleswade
Biggleswade Town Council has decided that a Neighbourhood
Plan is required for Biggleswade. If approved by residents in the town it will
become Planning Guidance and will shape the way that various aspects of the
town develop. We would like to know more about the priorities you think should
be included in the plan.
Neighbourhood plans are a way for local communities to
influence planning policy within the area in which they live and work. They can
be used to develop a shared vision for the neighbourhood including where new
homes, shops and other facilities should be built and what they look like.
Our vision for Biggleswade is that it should be a thriving,
large market town with individual shops, services and leisure offer in the town
centre, retail and business parks to the south of the town and plenty of green
spaces to enjoy the open air.
There are national plans for infrastructure which will have a
massive impact on East Bedfordshire – the Oxford/Cambridge Expressway,
East/West Rail and possible improvements to the A1. We already have the East Coast Main Line.
This infrastructure will inevitably lead to further demand both for housing and
for business premises in our part of the county.
The Town Council recognises this and, whilst not welcoming
the prospect unreservedly, wishes to work with all the relevant organisations
to plan for future growth in the parish whilst preserving and enhancing the
town’s character and role as a Market Town.
The Neighbourhood Plan must work with, and not contradict,
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Plan so we must take into account the
housing numbers which are allocated in the Draft Plan which CBC has submitted
to Government. We also realise that,
although currently unallocated, the land for a further 4,500 houses has been
designated by CBC as ‘Future Development Land’ and is likely to be allocated
when the Local Plan is revised. Three
thousand of those houses will be in neighbouring parishes, Sutton and Dunton,
but they will have a massive impact on Biggleswade, particularly for access to
the town centre, to the railway and the A1.
Neighbourhood Plans can be far-reaching but the Town
Council's aim is to concentrate on those aspects of planning which are of most
immediate concern and are brought up most often by local people.
Five themes have been identified to be covered in the
Neighbourhood Plan for Biggleswade. Your views are important to help shape the
way that the Neighbourhood Plan will develop.