Neighbourhood Planning


Click here to view the Green Infrastructure Plan for Cople.  


Click here for details regarding the Green Infrastructure Plan Workshop held 20 July 2016.


What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

The localism Act 2011 reformed the planning system to give local people new opportunities to shape the development in their community.  It introduced a new type of community-led plan that can be used to set out more detailed priorities for development at local level.

Neighbourhood Plans are optional documents, however they help communities to have a say in the future use of land and buildings in their neighbourhood.


Why make a Neighbourhood Plan?

Once a Neighbourhood Plan is made (adopted) it becomes a formal part of the planning policy for the area alongside Bedford Borough Council’s Local Plan.  Therefore it forms the basis for determining future planning applications and developments. 


How does this fit in with Bedford Borough Council's Local Plan?

Bedford Borough Council have begun working on the preparation of a Local Plan.  The Local Plan will include sites for new housing in the Borough, to meet the housing requirements up until 2032.  Sites which were put forward in ‘call for sites’ consultation will be considered along with any additional sites put forward during this process. 

A total of five sites were put forward for Cople.  It is unknown at this stage, whether Cople will be an area subject to growth.

To view the sites or to find out more information about Bedford Borough's Local Plan Document, click the link on the News & Information Page of this website.


Who is responsible for  preparing the Neighbourhood Plan?

Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan should be a community led project, put together by the community, for the community. It can bring together residents, businesses, local groups, landowners and developers in order to shape the area in which they live. It is a requirement that Bedford Borough Council are involved throughout the process as it is important that any Neighbourhood Plans fit into the Borough Council’s Local Plan 2032.


Where do we start? 

The first stage in the process requires the Parish Council to make an application to Bedford Borough Council to designate Cople as a Neighbourhood Area.  It should be noted, that until this stage is complete, Cople would not be in a position to proceed with a Plan.

Further to our application and in accordance with the requirements of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, the area has been designated as ‘Cople Neighbourhood Area’. Click here to view the Council’s formal decision statement and map showing the designated area.


What happens now? 

As many of you will be aware, Parish Council held a stall at the Village Fete on 20 June in order to commence discussions with residents and the local community to find out if they were in support of a Neighbourhood Plan and b) to gather names of volunteers who may be interested in becoming part of a steering group.

Residents were invited to attend two further sessions which were held at the Village Hall on Friday 11 September, 6-8pm and Saturday 12 September, 10am-12noon.  The purpose of these sessions was to give all residents a chance to give their views/comments regarding Neighbourhood Planning and the future of Cople.  

If you were unable to attend either of the sessions,  please click here to view the information from those sessions and click here to download a comment sheet, which you can submit via email to 


Link to map showing the five sites put forward by landowners and developers for Cople:


Link to further information regarding the Potential Development Sites for Cople:


Link to Neighbourhood Planning Workshop Information: