Neighbourhood Plan



January 2024 Houghton Regis Neighbourhood Plan Update

I write this update with some really good news: We have passed the next major milestone!
Following on from October’s update, Houghton Regis Town Council’s Draft Neighbourhood
Plan has been the subject of an independent examination.
Near the end of the examination the Examiner provided us with a ‘fact check’ Report. The
purpose of this pre issue stage ‘fact check’ Report was to identify any issues of fact that were
incorrect, such as place names or figures that were referenced. Whilst there is no legal or
policy provision for a ‘fact check’ report stage, it has nonetheless become commonplace for
examiners to provide a pre-issue version of the report (mirroring the legal requirement
regarding the final report), so that purely factual errors can be picked up.

Houghton Regis Town Council and Central Bedfordshire Council responded to the examiner,
in regard to these errors raised, on the 23rd January 2024.
The Examiner, Mr Derek Stebbing, concluded his examination on the plan and provided his
final report on the 24th January 2024. The conclusion from the Examiner is as follows:
I have made recommendations to modify certain policies and other
matters to ensure that the Plan meets the Basic Conditions and other
legal requirements. I recommend that the Plan, once modified, proceeds
to referendum.

It is clear that the Houghton Regis Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2035 is the
product of much hard work undertaken since 2016 by the Town Council
and the many individuals and stakeholders who have contributed to the
preparation and development of the Plan. In my assessment, the Plan
reflects the land use aspirations and objectives of the Houghton Regis
community for the future planning of their area up to 2035. The output is
a Plan which should help guide the area’s development over that period,
making a positive contribution to informing decision-making on planning
applications by Central Bedfordshire Council.

So what happens now?

Well, the move to referendum stage is the responsibility of the local planning authority
(Central Bedfordshire Council). They have now received both the Examiner’s Report and a
new copy of the Neighbourhood Plan that includes the changes required by the examiner.
They will now publish this version of the plan on their website along with details of when
the referendum is likely to happen.

If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote ‘yes’, then the neighbourhood plan
becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area.
Intelligent Plans and Examinations (IPE) Ltd, 3 Princes Street, Bath BA1 1HL
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We are nearly at the end of what has been a very long journey. Curve balls have been
thrown, Covid being just one. The examiner was certainly correct in that it has been a long,
hard process that has required continued efforts by some very dedicated people. Over the
last seven-plus years many members of the Houghton Regis Town Council and a large
number of local residents have freely given hours of their time to ensure that, at last, the
people of Houghton Regis have a real say in what can and, more importantly, cannot,
happen in our town. My thanks to all who have helped along the way: whether you feel that
you made a big contribution or a small one, the fact is we would not be where we are
without each one of you.

David Gibbons
Chair, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

Click here for:  Draft Neighbourhood Plan

Local Green Space Designation Report

SEA Screening Determination Statement

Consultation Statement


The expansion that happened in the 1960’s changed Houghton Regis from a small village into a town, but a town that was more like a large village. The changes currently proposed will change it into a large town.

In order to cope and prosper, many other things will need to change, and it is only fair and right that the people most affected—those who live and/or work in the town—should have a say in those changes.

You can also click on the link below which will take you to the Facebook Page where you can join the group to keep up to date with all the latest information...


If you would like to be part of this process,

please contact the Town Council on 01582 708544 or email



Committee Functions

Opening meeting Minutes 26th September 2017

Co-optees Agreement & Application Form


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