Supermarket in talks for Leighton site

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Plans to build a convenience store in Sandhills have been met with “guarded” approval by Leighton-Linslade town councillors.

The 3,000sq metre site, situated at the junction of Theedway and Billington Road, will serve residents of the estates recently built at Sandhills.

Agents for applicant Guildhall Estates (Leighton Buzzard) told the LBO that talks are ongoing for a well-known supermarket brand to occupy the ground floor retail space, but this is not expected to be confirmed until the new year.

The two upper storeys of the building will be set aside for ten flats.

Leighton town and Central Beds councillor Amanda Dodwell said: “This is a much-needed facility for the residents of Sandhills, and in principle I warmly welcome the proposal.”

Concerns had been raised by councillors and members of the Southern Residents’ Group about parking limitations. Currently, there are just 23 parking spaces outlined in plans, with one disabled space. Ten spaces have been earmarked for residents of the flats, and 13 for shoppers at the store.

It was also pointed out that none of the flats had been put forward for affordable housing.

Cllr Dodwell said: “I do share some of the concerns that have been raised with regards to car parking, although I understand that the layout of the site is somewhat restricted due to the presence of overhead electricity cables and pylons.”

She added that social housing needs would be met by the Extra Care Facility, due to be introduced by Central Beds Council in March 2016. This involves the creation of affordable social housing to meet the needs of various groups, namely the elderly – although no specific development appears to have been decided.