Leighton fears demands for extra housing

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Planners are having to rethink the number of houses set to be built in Leighton and the area after receiving fresh government guidelines.

Central Beds Council had drawn up a blueprint, its development strategy, for housing provision over the next 17 years, but predictions about migration into the area and population growth were based on outdated, and generally low. figures from the government.

Now the strategy will have to be revised before it can be ratified by Whitehall - and that may mean more housing for the district to cope with a growing population.

At the same time Aylesbury Vale’s housing growth plans have been thrown into disarray after a planning inspector refused to rubber stamp the document and called for them to rethink its low projections. He also criticised the authority for not working more closely with neighbouring local authorities.

A spokesman for CBC said: “We are currently updating our projections of future population and household growth in Central Bedfordshire in light of new information from government.

“We’re also working with adjoining areas to make sure that plans are joined up across boundaries. Early indications suggest a possible increase in the requirement for homes across the area as a whole, but it is too early for us to say what this will mean for individual areas like Leighton Buzzard.

“If there are any significant changes we would need to amend our draft development strategy, which was published last year, and further consultation with local residents would be required.”

The issue was discussed by Leighton-Linslade Town Council last week. After the meeting a spokesman said: “It is difficult to predict what the outcome will be but it appears likely that an increase in housing provision will be necessary. “