Proposed Main Modifications Schedule

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Chapter 9: Settlement Envelopes and Settlement Hierarchies


Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 9.1

Paragraphs 9.1.3


Amend heading for Section 9 as follows:

Settlement Hierarchy

9.1.3: There are four tiers included in the Settlement Hierarchy – Major Service Centres, Minor Service Centres, Large Villages and Small Villages. The requirements for these tiers are set out in Policy SP7. A number of settlements within the hierarchy lie within the South Bedfordshire Green Belt. Settlements that are categorised within the hierarchy as being Major and Minor Service Centres or Large Villages has all been inset from the Green Belt where appropriate. The exceptions to this are Woburn and Aspley Guise which are washed over by the Green Belt and have defined infill boundaries. A number of settlements that are categorised as being Small Villages have infill boundaries wherein some very limited development may be acceptable.


For internal consistency following amendment to Policy SP7 and to improve plan clarity.


Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Settlement Hierarchy Table


Remove (GB) symbol for all sites where it appears

Remove Caddington from the Large Villages category and place in Minor Service Centre category.

Major Service Centres

Major service centres provide are larger settlements with a highly diverse range in services and facilities, including schools, healthcare, varied retail offerings and a strong availability of public transport. focus for employment, shopping and community facilities for the local community and surrounding rural communities.


Houghton Regis*


Leighton Linslade*





Minor Service Centres

Minor service centres are larger settlements with some diversity in the range of services and facilities available, a good level of services possibly including a school, doctor's surgery, a basic retail offer and frequent public transport links.



Barton le Clay*







Large Villages

Large villages contain a small quantum of services and facilities, with fewer public transport links.

Aspley Guise* GB

Kensworth* GB




Lower Stondon


Marston Moretaineeyne

Clophill (Including Hall End Maulden)


Eaton Bray* GB





Slip End*

Heath and Reach*

Totternhoe* GB


Upper Caldecote


Westoning* (GB)

Houghton Conquest

Woburn (GB)

Small Villages

Small villages contain few services and facilities and are limited in their availability of public transport links.

Aspley Heath* GB


Billington* GB

Old Warden




Ridgmont* GB



Chalton* GB

Shillington (Aspley End)


Shillington (Bury End)

East Hyde* GB


Eggington* GB

Standbridge* GB

Eversholt* GB



Steppingley* GB

Flitton, Greenfield & Wardhedges

Streatley* GB

Husborne Crawley* GB

Studham* GB





Maulden (Green End)

Tempsford (Church End)




Upper Gravenhurst

Milton Bryan* GB

Upper Sundon*GB





Include the following Settlement Ends within the Settlement Hierarchy, within the small village's category:

Shillington (Aspley End)
Shillington (Bury End)

Maulden (Green End)


Settlements not identified within the hierarchy are, due to their small size and rural character, considered to be part of the countryside.

  • Settlements followed by (GB) are settlements which are washed over by the Green Belt
  • *settlements that are inset from the Green Belt
  • Settlements that are identified with an * are located within the Green Belt. See Section 8.6: Development within Green Belt settlements for more detailed classification of these settlements


To provide clarity over extent of settlement envelopes and how settlement ends are included in these envelopes.

Also remove Caddington from the Large Villages category as its already identified in the table as a Minor Service Centre.


Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 9.2

Paragraphs 9.2.1, 9.2.2, 9.2.7


Amend heading for Section 9.2 as follows:

Settlement Envelopes

9.2.1: To define the boundaries between settlements and surrounding countryside, where appropriate, the Council will define has defined Settlement Envelopes. Settlement Envelopes provide a distinction between the settlements and the open countryside, and in so doing enable the clear, unambiguous and consistent application of policies in the management of development within and outside settlements. It They also encourages the efficient use of land within our towns and villages, including the re-use of previously developed land. Within the Green Belt, settlements fall into two categories - those which are 'washed over' by the designation, and those which are 'inset' from the Green Belt. For clarity, the inset Green Belt boundary performs the role of Settlement Envelopes for those settlements considered inset, whereas washed over settlements do not have such boundaries. One settlement, Aspley Guise, is 'washed over' by and is 'inset' from the Green Belt.

9.2.2: A small number of settlements include areas of residential development that are physically separated from the main core of the settlement, these areas are known locally as Settlement Ends. These Settlement Ends do not share the same characteristics as the substantial settlement of which, by name, they form a part, often being further from facilities and services and taking the form of a small village in their own right. As such, the Settlement Ends are individually identified within the Settlement Hierarchy as 'Small Villages' and have their own settlement envelope.

Insert new sub-heading and paragraphs after paragraph 9.2.7 as new paragraph 9.2.3 as follows

Windfall Development

9.2.3 Windfall development sites are sites not specifically identified in the Local Plan. The Settlement Envelopes will be used to determine where windfall development is appropriate. Within Settlement Envelopes, new residential development will be acceptable in principle where it is commensurate with the size, scale, role and function of the settlement where it is located. Proposals for non-residential uses will be considered against relevant local plan policies, including EMP3, EMP4, EE13, HQ3, HQ4 and DC4


For internal consistency following other amendments to this section amendment

To improve clarity on approach to Green Belt settlements.

To improve clarity on approach to settlement ends.

To provide clarity over purpose of revised policy.


Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy SP7


Amend policy SP7 as follows:

Policy SP7 – Development within Settlement Envelopes Windfall Development

Settlement Envelopes provide a distinction between settlements and the countryside.

Within the Settlement Envelopes of both Major and Minor Service Centres, the Council will support housing, employment and other uses including new retail, service and community facilities settlement related development proportionate to the scale of the settlement, taking account of its role and function in the settlement hierarchy as a local service centre.

Within Settlement Envelopes of Large Villages, small-scale housing employment uses, together with new retail, service, and community facilities to serve the village and its catchment will be supported.

Within Settlement Envelopes of Small Villages, development will be limited to infill development, small-scale employment uses and community facilities.

Where an identified need exists for further community facilities (such as education, health, sports and recreation uses or mixed community uses) and there is no land is available within the settlement, a site adjacent to the settlement may be granted planning permission. Such development should make the best use of available land and lead to more sustainable communities.

Outside Settlement Envelopes, the Council will work to maintain and enhance recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and only particular types of development will be permitted. This includes the development of those sites allocated by this and previous development plans and , rural residential development within exception schemes, or dwellings for the essential needs of those employed in agriculture and forestry rural workers and Proposals which the re-use and replacement of existing buildings in accordance with Policies H5, DC1, DC2 or DC3. or replace an existing dwelling will be acceptable provided they conform to the specific criteria in this plan. Planning permission will also be granted for the redevelopment of previously developed land where the proposal does not cause the coalescence of settlements when considered against Policy SP5, the site is, or can be made, accessible to nearby services and facilities by sustainable modes of transport, there will be no detrimental impact on the built and/or natural environment, settlement character, highway network or the amenity of occupiers of neighbouring properties and where the proposal does not prejudice the deliverability of allocated sites.

Proposals for employment, tourism, leisure, rural and community uses will also be considered favourably subject to their conformity with Policies EMP3, EMP4, EE13, HQ3, HQ4 and DC4. The relevant policies in this plan

Limited extensions to gardens beyond Settlement Envelopes may be permitted provided that they do not harm the character of the area.


To improve plan clarity following discussion at Hearings

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