This project website that has been set up to make public the proposals put forward on behalf of the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust.

Full details have been submitted to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to aid their assessment of site options and the links opposite reproduce our summary leaflet and Vision Document for the Stoneyfields proposal.

The development both fulfils the emerging Neighbourhood Plan’s requirements and the proposal provides for an integrated, deliverable, sustainable development with many planning benefits. These include providing for a range of housing types, land for leisure, recreation and ecology purposes, land for a new primary school, retail and GP surgery opportunities and comprehensive measures to relieve transport pressures.

Submission of Representations to Sharnbrook Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 14 Consultation

Since details of the Stoneyfields proposals were circulated to all households during the summer, Sharnbrook Parish Council has undertaken formal consultation on its draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The most recent consultation closed on 23 October 2020.

The Bedfordshire Charitable Trust’s land remains a potential development option to be assessed as part of the ongoing Neighbourhood Plan process.

Representations to the recent consultation have been prepared on behalf of the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust. These include a thorough review of the ‘evidence base’ for the NP, including the testing of different site options. In order to support the submissions, the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust has also instructed updated evidence on highways and landscape matters associated with the Stoneyfields proposals together with obtaining discretionary advice from Natural England due to the proximity of the Felmersham Gravel Pits SSSI. Copies of the Trust’s representations and supporting evidence can be viewed here:

The objective of the submissions is to ensure that the Stoneyfields proposals are fully assessed, including the opportunities and benefits it provides.

The representations are intended to be constructive. This is in order that any perceived omissions from the NP evidence base, together with any alterations to the NP as suggested on behalf of the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust, are addressed prior to submission of the NP to Bedford Borough Council and ahead of further consultation.

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Summary of Key Benefits

• Single land ownership – security of project delivery

• Sustainable and accessible location well related to the existing village

• Enhancement of the public rights of way network to provide connectivity between the existing and proposed facilities and open space

• Creation of a mixed use Local Centre/Community Facility to support demand for local convenience retail and provide a new location for GP surgery facilities, if required

• Over 50% of the Masterplan area is dedicated to ecological conservation and open space; delivering enhancements to wildlife and green spaces

• Delivery of on-site opportunities for play, leisure and recreation

• Mix of housing including affordable and bungalows

• Delivery of highway improvements including traffic calming, school drop off facility and safer routes to school

• Support the needs of Sharnbrook Academy including provision of car parking as well as opportunities for additional landscaping of the site

• Land for a new Primary School in a sustainable location

Following the preparation of the submissions, the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust would be grateful for ongoing input and observations regarding the potential merits of the Stoneyfields proposals and how these could be enhanced. These will help to inform representations on behalf of the Trust at future stages of the process.

Please note that it is very important that all interested residents continue to submit any comments they feel are necessary, based on the Neighbourhood Plan’s proposals, at future consultations undertaken as part of the formal Neighbourhood Plan process.

Review of the Bedford Local Plan 2030

In July 2020 Bedford Borough Council commenced a Review of the Bedford Local Plan 2030, as was required by the examining Inspector. The review will seek to ensure that future needs for growth are provided for in-line with government policy in the period to 2030 and beyond.

The review is at an early stage. The extent of changes to the housing requirement for individual settlements is unknown and no site allocation options were published with the consultation.

As part of this exercise Bedford Borough Council requested that all landowners and promoters acting on their behalf re-submit details of their interests as part of a new Call for Sites exercise and that we are doing on behalf of the Charitable Trust. Within these submissions the capacity for development (500 units) remains unchanged, alongside the wider benefits of the Stoneyfields Masterplan. Details of the submissions on behalf of the Bedfordshire Charitable Trust can be downloaded here:

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