Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

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Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE2: Enhancing Biodiversity

Representation ID: 9099

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

POLICY - support

06

Full text:

We strongly support this policy.

Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE3: Nature conservation

Representation ID: 9101

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

We support this policy.

Full text:

We support this policy.

Comment

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

15.5 Woodlands, trees and hedgerows

Representation ID: 9107

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

GENERAL - supporting text needs amending to note the special, additional requirements of development in the Forest of Marston Vale.

06

Full text:

In discussing designing trees into new developments, this supporting text should note the special, additional requirements of developments within the designated Forest of Marston Vale area. This would ensure greater clarity, greater effectiveness and reduce the risk of confusion, benefiting all parties.

Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE4: Trees, woodlands and hedgerows

Representation ID: 9109

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

POLICY - suggests amended wording to reflect requirements in Forest of Marston Vale

06

Full text:

We support this policy. However we feel that it must be amended to note the special and greater requirements of developments within the designated Forest of Marston Vale area.

Comment

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE5: Landscape Character and Value

Representation ID: 9113

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

POLICY - suggests policy amendments to acknowledge Forest of Marston Vale designation

06

Full text:

We support this policy in principle. However we feel that it must be amended to acknowledge that within the designated Forest of Marston Vale area the primary reference point regarding landscape character is the agreed vision to create the Forest of Marston Vale through major afforestation (i.e. achieving 30% tree cover and establishing a future "forest" character). There is a distinct risk that a conventional (i.e. historic) approach to landscape assessment could inadvertently contradict the existing national and local policy support for creating the Forest of Marston Vale through major landscape change.

Object

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

15.10 The Forest of Marston Vale

Representation ID: 9167

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:


GENERAL - wording needs to be consistent with BBC as FOMV is a cross boundary strategic priority, revised wording provided
DTC - will fail if not consistent with BBC

05

Full text:

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust is the charity leading on the delivery of the environmentally-led regeneration of the Marston Vale through creating the Forest of Marston Vale, one of England's Community Forests. We welcome and strongly support the principle of this current section but must regrettably object to the current wording. As the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale is a cross-boundary strategic priority for both Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council, we believe that it is necessary and important to have consistent wording in both Local Plans. We believe that failure to achieve this would render both Local Plans to be found to be neither 'legally compliant' (regarding failure in the Duty to Co-operate) nor 'sound' (in terms of their effectiveness).

However, we believe that this is easily remedied by adopting common wording, and we propose basing this on the wording in the Bedford Borough Council Pre-submission Local Plan. We have provided the suggested revised wording below for adoption as a minor modification:


"The Council is a founding partner in the 40-year vision to create the Forest of Marston Vale across 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes, as one of England's Community Forests, which together form the country's largest environmental regeneration initiative. The National Planning Policy Framework provides specific support for community forests such as the Forest of Marston Vale, noting that Forest Plans may be a material consideration in preparing development plans and in deciding planning applications.

The Forest of Marston Vale is one of the 12 Community Forests in England designated by Government as part of a national programme to regenerate degraded landscapes near large urban populations through tree planting. It was established in 1991 to use trees and woodlands to transform 61 square miles (approximately 16,000 hectares) between Bedford and Milton Keynes, repairing a landscape scarred by decades of clay extraction, brickmaking and landfill. Working with local communities, government and businesses, the 40-year vision is to deliver environmental regeneration that brings forward social and economic regeneration of the area, whilst providing major landscape, recreation, biodiversity, and quality of life benefits.

The primary aim, set by government in 1991, is to increase tree cover from 3% to 30% by 2031, requiring the planting of around 4,000 hectares of new woodland. Approximately 50% of the Forest of Marston Vale area lies within Central Bedfordshire, suggesting that 2,000 hectares of new woodland needs to be planted in Central Bedfordshire by 2031. In the last 21 years, there has been an increase of woodland cover from 3.6% to 10.6% over the whole Forest area, which equates to 1141 ha of new tree woodland. Overall tree cover within the Forest has now increased to 15.4%.

Through delivering this major increase in woodland cover and landscape change, a wide range of associated benefits and objectives will be delivered. The new well-wooded landscape will transform perceptions of the once-degraded area, encouraging inward investment and economic prosperity, providing an attractive location in which to live and work and a revitalised area which local communities can be proud of having helped to create through extensive community engagement. Recreation and leisure opportunities will be increased through the creation of new accessible woodlands, other green infrastructure and access routes. Increased woodland cover will help mitigate the impacts of climate change by providing a local, sustainable source of biomass for use as fuel, as well as through carbon sequestration by the many millions of trees planted. With around 4,000 hectares of new woodland, plus other environmental improvements, the area will deliver significant biodiversity benefits, creating a landscape richer in wildlife, as well as this new well-wooded landscape stimulating the development of a woodland economy and associated job creation.

The creation of the Forest of Marston Vale is guided by the Forest Plan, a non-statutory plan produced through very extensive consultation. The Forest Plan is the key reference for creating the Forest of Marston Vale, setting out the vision, objectives and broad proposals for the 61 square mile area. The Forest of Marston Vale Trust is the independent registered charity dedicated to the environmental regeneration and delivery of green infrastructure throughout the Marston Vale, in accordance with the Forest Plan.

In order to help the delivery of the 30% Forest cover, developments within the Forest of Marston Vale will be expected to provide new tree cover on the development site. This can be in the form of woodland in a major development site, through to individual trees and hedgerows on smaller sites. New design guidance for development within the Forest of Marston Vale will be produced jointly with Bedford Borough Council, forming a common Supplementary Planning Document, used by both Councils to inform development within the Forest area."

Object

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE9: Forest of Marston Vale

Representation ID: 9174

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:


GENERAL - wording needs to be consistent with BBC as FOMV is a cross boundary strategic priority, revised wording provided
DTC - will fail if not consistent with BBC

05

Full text:

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust is the charity leading on the delivery of the environmentally-led regeneration of the Marston Vale through creating the Forest of Marston Vale, one of England's Community Forests. We welcome and strongly support the principle of this current policy but must regrettably object to the current wording. As the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale is a cross-boundary strategic priority for both Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council, we believe that it is necessary and important to have consistent policy wording in both Local Plans. We believe that failure to achieve this would render both Local Plans to be found to be neither
'legally compliant' (regarding failure in the Duty to Co-operate) nor 'sound' (in terms of their effectiveness).

Furthermore, the proposed policy wording in this Pre-submission Local Plan is unacceptable in two regards:

- "Developments for new buildings..." should simply read "Development proposals..." as this qualification is unnecessary, unhelpful and inconsistent with other policies (e.g. EE8).
- The "...retaining and protecting of existing trees, woodlands and hedgerows within development sites..." does not constitute a positive contribution to the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale and the 30% tree cover requirement within development sites. Retention and protection should be addressed via existing regulatory mechanisms and also via proposed Policy EE4.

However, we believe that these are easily remedied by adopting common policy wording, and we propose basing this on the policy wording in the Bedford Borough Pre-submission Local Plan. We have provided the suggested revised policy wording below for adoption as a minor modification:

"Central Bedfordshire Council will continue to support the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale to deliver the environmentally led regeneration of the area. Development proposals within the Forest of Marston Vale area will be required to:
i. Demonstrate how they will deliver 30% tree cover across their development site. This can be achieved through a combination of new planting of trees, woodlands and hedgerows within development sites and
ii. Contribute to the environmentally led regeneration of the Forest of Marston Vale, in line with the aims of the Forest Plan and
iii. Demonstrate how their proposals are consistent with design guidance (supplementary planning document) for development within the Forest of Marston Vale."

Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE10: The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Park

Representation ID: 9175

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

We strongly support this policy.

Developments on the route of the Waterway Park should be required to deliver the section(s) of the Waterway Park within their development boundary, and to deliver this as a corridor of multi-functional green/blue infrastructure.

Full text:

We strongly support this policy.

Developments on the route of the Waterway Park should be required to deliver the section(s) of the Waterway Park within their development boundary, and to deliver this as a corridor of multi-functional green/blue infrastructure.

Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE12: Public Rights of Way

Representation ID: 9177

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

We support this policy.

Full text:

We support this policy.

Support

Central Bedfordshire Pre-submission Local Plan (January 2018)

Policy EE13: Outdoor sport, leisure and open space

Representation ID: 9181

Received: 21/02/2018

Respondent: Forest of Marston Vale Trust

Representation:

We support this policy.

Full text:

We support this policy.

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