Planning Minister Nick Boles MP visited two villages near Luton and Dunstable to carry out a fact-finding mission on Thursday, February 6.
The minister’s trip took him to Caddington and Slip End.
He heard all about the challenges faced in putting together a neighbourhood plan.
And Mr Boles commended the efforts which have gone into the plan for those villages.
The VIP visit was welcomed by Councillor Richard Stay, one of the Caddington Ward representatives on Central Beds Council.
Mr Stay, an executive councillor with special responsibilities for external affairs, said: “It was a hugely positive visit.
“Mr Boles was supportive of the time and effort local people have put into the plan, which includes proposals for a heritage greenway, including a bridle cycle footpath network with signposts and information about particular archaeological sites.
“And we were able to demonstrate the real difference that a neighbourhood plan can make to local democracy.”
Neighbourhood plans aim to give communities a real say in what their villages will look like in the future.
And the work on creating neighbourhood plans includes high levels of involvement by people living in the areas in question.
Central Beds Council says that the neighbourhood plan for Caddington and Slip End ties in with its emerging development strategy, which spells out the broader policy for the wider area.