“Planning for the Future” – Is the Mayor already in discussions about New Town development?

A few weeks ago in March 2020, Robert Jenrick MP, the Housing Minister, launched a document called “Planning for the Future”   

In this document the future plans for the Ox – Cam Arc are outlined – Para 10, 6th Bullet point on page 6 says:

Backing the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, including a new spatial framework and up to 4 new development corporations–the Arc has the potential to be a world-leading green growth corridor, with high-productivity jobs and environmentally-friendly developments.

The Spatial Framework will give certainty to businesses and developers about where new housing and employment will be delivered until 2050 and support planning for the right infrastructure to meet social, environmental and economic needs.

The government is also going to examine and develop the case for up to four new Development Corporations in the Ox-Cam Arc, subject to necessary public consultation, in or around Bedford, St Neots/Sandy, Cambourne and Cambridge…”

It is possible to assume from this that the Mayor may have  already had detailed discussions with government and the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency) about development plans for Bedford and the surrounding area but not shared these discussions with residents.

If this is the case we look forward to The Mayor coming clean with residents and laying out the full details of his discussions with government regarding development in rural areas.

If Bedford Borough Council takes on the status of a Development Corporation as described in the “Planning for the Future” document it could mean that local residents will be excluded from the democratic process of deciding where housing development will take place – the decisions will have already been made by The Mayor and the government.

We would encourage all residents to respond to the consultation and join our fight to protect the beautiful North Beds countryside and Keep North Beds Green.  Don’t let the Mayor and his administration destroy North Beds.

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