Greyfriars Development Brief SPD

Ended on the 19 December 2023
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1 Purpose and status of the Development Brief

1.1 Purpose

The Greyfriars Development Brief has been prepared to facilitate the delivery of the Greyfriars site in Bedford town centre. The masterplan has been developed by a specialist consultant team, on behalf of Bedford Borough Council (BBC), in partnership with bpha and Homes England.

1.2 Scope and status of the Brief

TOP IMAGE: Town Centre sites: Local Plan 2030 allocations and Local Plan 2040 sites  BOTTOM IMAGE: The Masterplan Area

The Development Brief will be adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document to inform the future development of the site. This document will sit alongside the Development Plan, and other local guidance such as the Bedford Borough Council Design Guide to ensure high quality design and appropriate development is brought forward on this site.

The Council are currently preparing a new Local Plan, and draft Policy HOU1 sets out design principles for the "Land at Greyfriars north". The purpose of this SPD is therefore to fulfil the "masterplan and design code" elements of this draft policy and provide details for how this part of the site should be delivered.

1.2.1 SPD Area boundary

For the purposes of this document the red line (see SPD area diagram below) is used as a focus of the redevelopment opportunities. The changes include:

    • Exclusion of the Bedford Esquires music venue - not considered for redevelopment;
    • Boundary changes relating to the Greyfriars Junction improvements;

In addition, the boundary for the draft HOU1 allocation also includes a small section of land to the south of the bus station, which consists of a series of shops fronting Greyfriars road (known as Greyfriars East). This part of the site has not been included in the Masterplan boundary, but the site is expected to come forward in the future. When this happens, the site should have due regard for this SPD (site-specific high level development principles on p.29) and the Local Plan policies, including HOU1.

Beauchamp Court has been included within the boundary for the SPD area, though there are no significant changes proposed to this building in this SPD. Proposed changes may include improving the public realm, and decluttering the parking court area.

Where the "Greyfriars masterplan" is referenced, this covers the area of the surface carpark, the three tower blocks and the North Parade block to the north (i.e. not Beauchamp Court, Greyfriars East, or Allhallows MSCP).

1.3 Methodology

This document has been prepared by a masterplanning team, with specialist advice from heritage, viability, landscape and movement consultants in order to reduce risk and maximise site deliverability. Once the extent of the site had been identified, comprehensive analysis of the site including an assessment of constraints and opportunities was undertaken. Community engagement followed, which then helped to determine

 the key development principles and local concerns and opportunities. A vision for the site was developed, and conceptual options appraised. Following this, further community consultation was undertaken to get thoughts on the preferred options. Each of these options was then tested for viability, before a preferred option was selected.

various pictures of building and street design

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