Retail developer keen to get started
It is now full steam ahead as preparations for Leighton’s first retail park to be built get underway.
Rejoicing developers, Claymore, saw victory as 13 councillors voted in favour, four against, and one abstention to build on greenfield land, and say the development will provide 100 new jobs whilst providing substantial community benefits.
And with intentions to build as soon as possible, they say they are now engaged in ‘positive discussions’ with a number of retailers focused around the DIY market.
Stephen Cole of the Claymore Group said: “We are pleased with the councillors’ decision.
“We have consulted widely on this scheme and listened to the views of local residents and representatives. Our guiding principle from the outset of this project has been to offer real retail choice which complements the town centre rather than competes with it.
“This has been reflected through the scale of our proposal and the retailers we are seeking to attract.
“The development will provide a number of community benefits including the creation of up to 100 jobs, substantial contributions to the town centre, improved transport links and the potential for up to 15 small start-up business units. The scheme will also enhance the retail offering for Leighton Buzzard residents.”
But concerns are still rife amongst those against the development and Leighton-Linslade town councillor, Mike Bishop, has shown his concerns.
He said: “It was never going to be an easy decision for Central Bedfordshire Council. Although I voted against it at the town council I could see the attraction of providing facilities to stop people going out of Leighton for their shopping. It is up to the town council now to redouble its efforts to support the town centre and the market. And up to the townspeople to support us in that.
“I suspect the developer of the second application will go to appeal. That will be interesting.”
For more reaction to the decision see next week’s LBO.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west