Housing plan is in threats list
A plan for 2,500 homes on the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard has been placed on a national campaign group’s list of threats to the Green Belt.
In a week where the government is looking at easing planning policy to speed up economic recovery, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has identified proposals for the east of Leighton Buzzard on its Green Belt Threats map.
Nationally, the CPRE says new developments amounting to a town the size of Slough could cut a swathe through the countryside.
Locally, despite earlier protests, including a 10,000-strong petition from residents, Central Beds Council (CBC) is earmarking up to 2,500 homes to be built in east Leighton.
The so-called East of Leighton–Linslade Strategic Allocation comprises the area from Shenley Hill to the north to Stanbridge Road to the south, including north of Vandyke Road.
The possible development, a part of a draft strategy working its way through Central Beds Council, includes up to 2,500 dwellings, 16 hectares of employment land creating up to 2,400 new jobs, a neighbourhood centre and two local centres, educational facilities.
There are also plans for allotments, parks and children’s play facilities and formal and informal open spaces and sports provision.
Thurstan Adburgham, a spokesman for the CPRE in Luton and South Bedfordshire, said the group was not opposed to all development.
Mr Adburgham said: “There is a substantial tract of land which is a worked-out quarry land, north of Vandyke Road.
“We don’t have a problem in meeting Leighton Buzzard’s longer term growth needs with the brownfield element.”
Mr Adburgham suspected that the previously developed element of the area of land could take roughly 500 homes but not the whole 2,500 figure.
“We regard that as a reasonable figure,” he said, adding that CPRE is a pragmatic organisation.
“It is the rest that we have a problem with, another 2,000 houses would be built on what is pristine countryside.”
For more on this story see the September 4 issue of the LBO.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Thursday 23 May 2013
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