Living in Biggleswade town centre will become “increasingly desirable” as it expands in the next few years, it has been claimed.
A 40 per cent population growth to 24,650 residents is expected by 2021, with further housing schemes planned for the area.
Four villages at Biggleswade catering for around 3,000 homes form part of the draft Central Bedfordshire Local Plan up to 2035.
Work is underway already on 2,700 homes in the east of the town, according to a strategic development framework produced for Biggleswade.
And Stratton Business Park is being extended with the potential for an extra 4,450 jobs.
“The town’s growth offers exciting opportunities to improve local community, education and health facilities,” says the document produced by Be Central Bedfordshire.
“New commercial development at Stratton Business Park and the retail park redevelopment at London Road will offer business and employment opportunities.
“These will be in easy reach of the town centre, the King’s Reach expansion and the A1 corridor.”
The plan suggests the regeneration of Biggleswade will improve retail, leisure and transport facilities in the town centre.
Expansion schemes will “further establish Biggleswade as a popular local retail and evening entertainment destination complimenting other surrounding centres”, it adds.
The town is seen as attractive to new business start-ups, and has lured a number of leading national and international brands in the past, such as Sainsbury’s, Liebherr, Jordans Ryvita, Asda and iCandy.
It also benefits from being close to the higher and further education institutions of Cranfield University, Central Bedfordshire College and Shuttleworth College.
The report outlines several areas which are earmarked for development, seen to have building potential, or where projects are underway or have been completed recently.
These include Biggleswade Library, land south of the railway station, the Biggleswade Hospital site, and the Saffron Road Medical Centre, where extra healthcare capacity could help meet the needs of a growing population.
Be Central Bedfordshire is a public/private partnership led by Central Bedfordshire Council.