East Leighton fields falls to developers as housing gets green light


The first wave of plans aimed at expanding Leighton Buzzard east of the town were approved this morning amid claims that the development will cause traffic chaos, provide no benefits to existing residents, and result in years of upheaval.

Critics of the scheme bit their tongues when it came to voting at the Central Beds development management committee, and gave overwhelming backing to plans by Willis Dawson to put 1,200 homes and infrastructure on land to be known as Clipstone Park, stretching from Stanbridge Road to Vandyke Road.

Only one of the 14 councillors, Barton’s Ian Shingler, abstained from voting on the scheme. The others, including all Leighton-Linslade’s representatives - Cllrs Berry, Bowater and Spurr plus substitute Roy Johnstone, voted in favour.

The other two sections of the East Leighton Urban Extension, which will finally see 2,500 houses built, go before planners in April.

Leighton mayor, Councillor Amanda Dodwell, made a personal plea to ditch the plan. Other objections came from parish councils, the police, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Another 27 letters, protesting about the development, came from individuals with only one in favour.

Resident Tony Morris, of Chamberlain’s Gardens, Leighton, spoke out at the meeting to slam the proposals saying that they would ”kill Leighton Buzzard”.

“We’re not Nimby’s just a town that’s had enough of development,” he said.

Only 10 per cent will be affordable housing and the committee heard that it may be years into the development before any leisure or community facilities are provided.

A full report in Tuesday’s LBO.