Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan – Clearing the Confusion

On 30th November, all Arlesey residents will be asked to vote in a referendum as to whether to accept or reject the Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan. Please do not confuse this with the Arlesey Cross Masterplan or the Draft Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire.

The Neighbourhood Plan was written by a group of residents and councillors following your feedback on surveys and open days and it has taken almost three years to get this far and this is the final stage.

What is it all about?

At the heart of the Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan is a collection of policies covering aspects such as house design, protection of the green spaces and the improvement of village facilities. These policies have been drawn up based on feedback from residents through surveys and consultation events over the past three years.

A positive vote means that all developers MUST take account of these policies when applying for planning permission within the Arlesey parish.

A negative vote means that planning policy for Arlesey will remain entirely within the hands of Central Bedfordshire Council and central government.

You can read the full Neighbourhood Plan here, and a limited number of printed copies are also available at the Arlesey Town Council offices

What about the Masterplan and the Local Plan?

Arlesey residents will have heard about a number of plans in recent years about how their local area will be developed. Each one is different and serves a different purpose and on this page, we try to explain the three different plans that are currently under discussion.

It is important to remember that ONLY the Neighbourhood Plan has had direct input from Arlesey residents.

Arlesey Cross Masterplan

Arlesey Cross is a collective name for two separate development areas that are situated to the north east and west of the High Street. These should eventually result in approximately 1,400 new homes plus new employment space, a new lower school, other amenities and environmental improvements.

There was a requirement to produce a Masterplan Document for these developments in order to demonstrate how the land can be delivered in a coordinated and sustainable manner, and how this development will integrate into the existing settlement of Arlesey. This was written by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and adopted at Executive Committee on 18th March 2014.

Planning applications have been submitted in connection with the Masterplan with a small number approved.

Draft Local Plan for Central Bedfordshire

The Draft Local Plan, written by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC), sets out CBC’s proposals for how Central Bedfordshire will develop over the next 20 years. It outlines the strategy for ensuring that growth is delivered in the right place, and is of the right character and quality. It also aims to ensure that growth is delivered with the supporting roads, schools and services such as health, as well as retail, leisure and community facilities.

This draft plan, subtitled Shaping where you live 2035, was available for public consultation from 4th July 2017 for an eight week period until 29th August 2017. Among the proposals was a new site to the east of Arlesey for the development of a further 2,000 homes. The plan is currently being revised and will be subject to further consultation in early 2018. CBC have recently announced that they are now aiming to have the plan ready for submission by the end of March 2018.

Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan

The Neighbourhood Plan is distinct from the above two plans in that it reflects the wishes and desires of the residents of Arlesey. You may recall completing a short survey or detailed questionnaire about the sort of development you would like to see in Arlesey. The Neighbourhood Plan was written by a group of residents and councillors and is based on your, the residents’, wishes.

The Neighbourhood Plan must work within existing planning policy, including the Arlesey Cross Masterplan, and will help to shape how future developments will look and the facilities that the residents would like to see in Arlesey. The plan has been worked on for almost three years and has now passed independent examination and will be the subject of a referendum on Thursday 30th November.