Tempsford could be 'surrounded' by houses as plans revealed for 4,000 homes

The future could see Tempsford surrounded by housing, as Bedford Borough Council (BBC) plans to build around 4,000 homes near the village.

By Jo Robinson
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 4:52 pm
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 9:16 am

The council is currently consulting on its Local Plan 2040, in which it outlines proposals for a new settlement at Little Barford that will make "a key contribution towards the additional homes required across the borough".

The plans state that there will be "at least" 4,000 new homes overall, of which an estimated 3,800 would be built within the 2040 plan period.

The document reads: "Land at Little Barford is allocated as a new settlement to create a landscape led beautiful, healthy and sociable community located in close proximity to the proposal for a new station on the East West Rail line.

A map from the Bedford Borough Council Local Plan 2040 documents that shows the proposed development near Little Barford.

"It will provide all the key services and facilities to address its own needs, including health, education, retail, culture and community components, and will foster a strong local community based approach to the ownership and long-term stewardship of assets."

However, with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) previously suggesting that a new town with 12,500 homes could be built near to the village of Tempsford [an idea shelved for now due to uncertainties over East West Rail], opposition is already mounting against plans for one at its neighbour, Little Barford.

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Posting on Facebook, CBC Councillor Adam Zerny claimed: "Residents of Tempsford could be forgiven for thinking local authorities have got it in for them."

BCC states: "The Local Plan 2040 focuses mainly on a strategy to guide housing and employment growth to meet the government’s targets, and the infrastructure needed to support it. The council is legally obliged to plan for a set number of homes: 1,355 per year to 2040.

"By 2040, the Borough will have become a greener, more sustainable, more attractive and prosperous place to live and work.

"This Plan also focuses on encouraging high-skilled employment opportunities alongside housing development."

A CBC spokeswoman said: "We adopted our Local Plan in July 2021, which does not include any allocations for a new town adjacent to Tempsford.

"The site was originally submitted to the council as part of its call for sites process, which identified a potential capacity of around 12,500 homes.

"The site was included in the Plan as a ‘future growth area’, bearing in mind its potential to be a hugely sustainable location for development if a new station were proposed, but it could not be considered deliverable at that time due to the uncertainties around East West Rail infrastructure. It was subsequently removed.

"We will be responding to BBC's Plan in due course."

A spokeswoman for East West Rail (EWR) said: "We’re still working on the thousands of responses we received during the 2021 consultation, and as yet no decision has been made as to the preferred route alignment – or station locations - between Bedford and Cambridge. We hope to complete this work later in the year."

There are drop-in sessions to meet the EWR team and discuss proposals: July 8 in the Summerlin Centre, Woburn Sands; July 14 at The King's Centre, Osney Mead; July 15 in Coronation Hall, Bletchley; July 19 at Haslingfield Village Hall, Haslingfield; July 20 in The Cambridge Belfry, Cambourne. All sessions 2pm-8pm.

Closing date: July 29, 5pm.