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The amount of acres of farmland,Arable and pasture sold off from Bedford Borough Council to developers from Dec2014 till present day.

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Dear Bedford Borough Council,
Please could you tell me how much farmland (in acres,)that was owned by Bedford Borough Council has been sold to developers since Dec2014 till present?
And please could you tell me the following.
1. How much money has Bedford Borough Council received in total for these sales.
2. Does Bedford Borough Council plan to encourage these newly developed (developing,) industrial distribution centres on what have (or are being,)built on ex farmland, to offset their environmental footprint on the local & Surrounding environment,and if so how?

Yours faithfully,

AndrewJaconelli.

Freedom of Information, Bedford Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail requesting information under the Freedom of
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3. mailto:[Bedford Borough Council request email]

Andrea Bechtle, Bedford Borough Council

Bedford BC - OFFICIAL-Unsecure

 

 

Dear Andrew Jaconelli,

 

 

Request pursuant to Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request No. FOI
14047

 

I refer to your recent enquiry for information held by the Council. 

 

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the authority must
state whether or not the information exists and I confirm that we do hold
the information you requested.

 

Please find your request and a response below.

 

Please could you tell me how much farmland (in acres), that was owned by
Bedford Borough Council has been sold to developers since Dec2014 till
present?

 

138 acres of arable land has been sold since December to developers

 

And please could you tell me the following:

 

1.     How much money has Bedford Borough Council received in total for
these sales.

 

Sale prices total £30.1m

 

2. Does Bedford Borough Council plan to encourage these newly developed
(developing,) industrial distribution centres on what have (or are
being,)built on ex farmland, to offset their environmental footprint  on
the local & Surrounding environment, and if so how?

 

The Council has already made huge progress in reducing its own estates
energy bills and has achieved a huge 62% reduction in carbon emissions
over recent years. The Council has implemented projects such as upgrading
street     lighting to LEDs, converting oil to gas in Borough Hall,
upgrading lighting in Council buildings, improving insulation as well as
generating income from the biomass boiler and solar panels, all of these
projects are helping the Council save money on energy bills and safeguard
services whilst also protecting the environment.

 

Despite achieving so much and winning National Awards in a reasonable
short period of time for the councils efforts in reducing its carbon
emissions the Council is now looking to extend this further and reach
carbon neutrality by 2030. In doing so in relation to offsetting carbon we
are fully engaged in looking at other larger schemes in relation to
generating our own energy to both offset our own footprint and to assist
local businesses as well where we can. We are looking to build on what has
been achieved already through the Governments Feed-In Tariff from the
Council installing Photovoltaic Panels (PV) on roofs such as Borough Hall
and we are looking at council land use for potential space for battery
storage, further Solar PV or a co-located Solar and Battery farm.

 

We are having discussions with contacts at Cranfield University, who are
both keen to support and participate in a potential future renewable
energy/battery storage option. We are exploring possible eligibility for
grant funding as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (£30M from
UK Government) for some of these projects. One such site we have ear
marked which is in close vicinity to the land and buildings you have
highlighted is the Closed Elstow Landfill site in which as well as a
potential site for energy generation/ carbon offsetting opportunities
there is further prospects to bring ecological enhancements and planting
to the current site as one of these projects.

 

Although a lot of this work is in the planning stage still, I hope you
will see as a Council we are committed to reduce our impact on the
environment as well as looking as helping local businesses to be more
sustainable and greener in Bedford.   

 

In addition our current adopted planning policies (notably CP26 of the
Core Strategy and AD2 of the Allocations Plan) require developers to
consider sustainable design, climate change and pollution; however, the
focus is largely on energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction and
for that reason we impose an energy audit condition on most major planning
applications, as detailed below:

 

The submission of any reserved matters application for buildings within
each phase shall include the submission of

an energy audit. The energy audit shall include:

(i) A review of alternative methods for reducing the predicted carbon
emissions of the development once occupied

and their anticipated effectiveness;

(ii) Proposals for measuring the effectiveness of the chosen methods for
reducing the predicted carbon dioxide

emissions of the development once occupied;

(iii) Consideration of how the layout, orientation, design and materials
used in the construction of the development

can affect the consumption and use of energy;

(iv) Proposals for the carbon emissions from the development to be at
least 10% lower than that required by Building

Regulations current at the time of the reserved matters submission by the
use of the energy consumed by the

development to be provided from decentralised and renewable or low-carbon
sources either on or off-site; and

(v) a written statement to demonstrate how the BREEAM "Very Good" standard
or equivalent will be achieved.

The development of each phase shall thereafter be implemented in
accordance with the approved energy audit.

REASON: To ensure an energy efficient and sustainable development in
accordance with Policies CP21 and CP26

of the Core Strategy and Rural Issues Plan 2008 and Policy AD2 of the
Allocations and Designations Local Plan

2013.

 

Our new draft Local Plan which is currently under examination, also has
policies on climate change and energy usage, notably Policies 52S and 55
as reproduced below:

 

‘Policy 52S – Climate change strategic approach’, which states that the
Council will require the development and use of land and buildings to
address climate change, adapting to anticipated future changes and
mitigating against further change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

‘Policy 55 – Energy efficiency’ states that energy efficient buildings
will be required as follows: i. New residential development of fewer than
10 dwellings is required to achieve a 10% reduction in carbon emissions
below the Building Regulation* requirement. ii. New residential
development of 10 or more dwellings or on sites larger than 0.3 ha is
required to achieve a 19% reduction in carbon emissions below the Building
Regulation* requirement. iii. New non-residential developments larger than
500 m2 floor space are required to achieve a 10% reduction in carbon
emissions below the Building Regulation* requirement. These requirements
will apply unless it can be demonstrated that they would make the
development unviable.  

 

*Currently Approved Document L1A: Conservation of fuel and power in new
dwellings, 2013 edition and Approved Document L2A: Conservation of fuel
and power in new buildings other than dwellings, 2013 edition. DCLG March
2014 (as amended).

 

 

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Yours sincerely

 

Liz Verby on behalf of

Andrea Bechtle

FOI & EIR Officer - Environment & Enabling Services

Bedford Borough Council

Room 336, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK429AP

(01234) 718243 (ext 47243)
‘Bedford Borough Council - Working with our partners to make the borough a
better place to live, work and visit.’

 

 

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