Help to build housing plans

Central Bedfordshire Council is asking for public feedback on its vision for housing over the next five years.

The authority’s draft Housing Strategy for 2016-2021 sets out its vision and approach to housing need across Central Bedfordshire and aims to respond to the changing housing requirements of residents and communities.

It identifies the issues faced around the delivery of new homes and the challenges for housing services in the context of Central Bedfordshire’s growing population, new government policies.

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The Housing Strategy will also inform the housing policies of the council’s emerging Local Plan, which will identify a range of sites in sustainable locations to deliver housing growth.

The Housing Strategy identifies four main themes, these are:

> Enabling sustainable communities by aiming to build 7,375 new homes by 2021.

> Affordable housing delivery of 364 affordable homes per year (265 for rent, 99 for intermediate tenure)

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> Meeting the housing needs of older persons by providing them with a range of options for housing that is attractive, suitable and accessible.

> Meeting the housing needs of vulnerable people by improving their access to housing, care and support.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We want Central Bedfordshire to offer a range of great housing options in sustainable locations for all residents in our community, to support their social wellbeing and economic aspirations. So there has never been a more important time for us to deal with housing issues in the area.

“We have a growing population – with a 20 per cent increase expected by 2031 – and significant housing growth is required to provide sufficient homes for all residents. At the same time, we need to protect existing communities, and ensure that they can benefit from the advantages arising from housing growth. So it’s important that we hear as many views as possible in order to help shape our Housing Strategy.”

The full draft Housing Strategy is S at