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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > April 2010 > Executive - Future Development

Executive to Consult on Future Development Sites

Monday 19th April

Bedford Borough Council has published a draft Allocations and Designations Plan and subject to approval by the Council Executive this week, will shortly be seeking the views of local residents on the appropriateness of sites identified in the plan.

This includes details of sites that could be considered to meet the Borough’s future development needs and it also designates areas of land where specific land use policies will apply.

The Allocations and Designations Plan is a vital document to help the borough grow and prosper in a manageable and unified fashion. It includes land earmarked for new housing as well as sites which could provide future jobs for people in the Borough.

It also looks at possible sites to be used for gypsy and traveller pitches. Under requirements published by the Government and further detailed by the East of England Regional Assembly, the Council has a statutory duty to identify and provide 46 additional pitches for travellers and gypsies by 2021.

Creating permanent sites for gypsies and travellers will also help to significantly reduce the costly problems of removal and clean up involved with dealing with unauthorised encampments.

Gypsy and Traveller communities have been shown to experience significant disadvantages in their access to health, education and social services, often as a result of having to move location frequently. Settled sites, such as the existing Kempston Hardwick site help gypsies and travellers settle and get access to schools, health care and to become more integrated members of the community. Those who live on these settled sites pay council tax, rent, gas, electricity and other associated charges.

The draft plan includes a list of sites that have been put forward to meet the 46 additional pitches target set by the East of England Regional Assembly. However, the list is not final and the Council is encouraging anyone with sites they think might better meet this need, to put them forward.

Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Housing & Planning, said: “This is a vital document for the future of Bedford. However, it is also vital to recognise it is a draft and we are still welcoming suggestions from anyone else as part of the consultation.

“This also applies to possible gypsy and traveller pitches and I appreciate some of these issues are likely to cause debate. I therefore urge everyone with an opinion to get involved with the process and tell us your thoughts and opinions.”

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