LUC has recently been appointed by a consortium of local planning authorities to carry out two important studies.

The first of these is a Green Belt study which will assess all Green Belt land within the Central Bedfordshire and Luton administrative areas. The purpose of the study is to undertake an independent and comprehensive assessment of the extent to which the Green Belt land within the study area contributes to the purposes of Green Belt as set out within the NPPF. The assessment will provide conclusions on the relative performance of different parcels within the Green Belt and any potential harm to the Green Belt if any parcel, or part of them, were released for development.

The conclusions of this study will form one part of the evidence for a second, broader study.  This Growth Options Study will consider and recommend suitable options for meeting growth requirements within the Luton Housing Market Area including unmet need arising from Luton.

Some of the challenges that will be faced include the fact that Housing Market Areas and the Green Belt cross administrative boundaries and the need for the Green Belt study methodology to have regard to studies relating to the Green Belt in neighbouring authorities.

These studies will form key components of the evidence base for their respective Local Plans.

Image source: Burgess Von Thunen