Leighton Buzzard pub and LB First voice fears as developer eyes up South Side land for flats

The Golden Bell.  (google)
The Golden Bell. (google)

A historic pub in Leighton Buzzard town centre has laid bare its concerns over plans to build flats nearby.

The Golden Bell in Church Square has announced its objection to proposals by Mayfair 500 to build around 20 one and two-bedroom flats to the rear of the neighbouring Post Office, situated near both the Golden Bell and the Black Lion’s beer gardens.

The Golden Bell stated on its Facebook page: “We are very concerned about the impact this will have on the pub, as close residents may not be happy with the noise of customers in the garden and outside the pub.

“We will therefore be opposing this development.”

A spokesman on behalf of developer Mayfair 500 said: “Central Bedfordshire Council has aspirations to rejuvenate Leighton Buzzard town centre through the redevelopment of the land located to the south of the High Street.

“Mayfair 500’s proposals to redevelop the land at 7-9 Church Square forms an important part of this masterplan area.

“We are encouraging local residents and businesses to attend a public consultation event to view the proposals and provide their comments and feedback.

A public exhibition about the plans to develop 7-9 Church Square is due to take place at The Golden Bell on Wednesday, December 5, from 2.30pm until 7.30pm.

The Mayfair spokesman added: “If local residents are unable to attend but still wish to provide their comments on the proposals, they can email consultation@iceniprojects.com or phone 020 3958 6125.”

The chairman of LB First has also spoken against Mayfair 500’s plans – claiming the venture would harm the long-term Land South of High Street scheme (LSHS).

Gennaro Borelli told the LBO: “We are opposed to it as a group, particularly because this land was part of the development brief for the promotion of the town centre.

“Lots of public money has been spent on this...

“GVA consultants told Central Bedfordshire Council that they needed to purchase the rest of the parcels of land which will make it much easier to develop [LSHS], open up access and attract the kind of retailers we want.

“Unfortunately, CBC hasn’t done that. In the meantime, they’ve given consent to planning projects on the edge of town.

“If they allow permission for these flats to go ahead, not only will it block access to the bottom of LSHS, it will also set a precedent for the land to go up in value and it will make it easier for CBC to sell the land piecemeal.

“It’s not what the people of the town envisaged and wanted. We will be coming to the consultation.”