Protect our Park say protesters as plans threaten Leighton Buzzard green space

A Leighton Buzzard green space is under threat from a commercial development that would see the park torn up and a car park for over 100 vehicles and two industrial units installed.

By Hannah Richardson
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 10:55 am

The Roman Gate Action Group is calling for the application from Litton Properties​ Ltd and Arnold White Group to be withdrawn and the park to be protected for future generations.

Campaigners say the park played a critical role in the health and wellbeing of residents of Roman Gate during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The planned development includes over 100 parking spaces, two buildings with 16 commercial units and regular deliveries by articulated lorries.

Roman Gate protesters

Residents at Greenfields have joined in opposing the development which would result in over a dozen flats looking on to the wall of the commercial unit or a car park metres from their balconies.

To make way for the buildings, the developers would remove trees, a section of mature hedgerow and a hectare of grassed parkland.

Tom Conroy, of the Roman Gate Action Group, said: “This park is vital space for our community, with children using the play equipment, people exercising, families playing football, dogs being walked and people watching the birds.

“It was part of the planning permissions that enabled a developer to build hundreds of houses that the community now live in, but now they’re looking to tear it down.

Campaigners gather at Roman Gate

“It’s disappointing to see a proposal that clearly doesn’t consider the people who live here, and we’re going to do everything in our power to protect our park.”

Greenfields resident Susan Butterworth said: “My house will have a warehouse just metres from my window.

"My days of walking in the field and watching the birds look to be numbered.

"Catalyst Housing, which owns Greenfields, will need to change the name of the place to Shedview.”

Cilene Placona, who lives on Aurora Rise, said: “I can’t believe they are planning on sending lorries down my little road.

"Regular cars struggle to get along the main road, Theedway, never mind articulated lorries.

"The road just won't cope with additional traffic and articulated lorries will make the road unsafe”.

A planning statement on behalf of Litton Properties​ Ltd and Arnold White Group ​said the layout of the units was

​"​respectful to the character and appearance of the area​"​. ​It added: "​The development will make a positive contribution to the employment needs in the area​ ​by delivering much​-​needed​ ​commercial premise​s."

They point out that the existing play area would be relocated and that new areas of public space are proposed with a connecting route around the ​site. They said: “This would enable residents​ ​to utilise the area for leisure and recreation purposes, and the design ensures that there is no conflict between the proposed development and this use.​"​​​

To support the Roman Gate Action Group use their registration form or email [email protected]

The deadline to comment on the planning application is May 3. Visit the Central Beds planning portal and view application CB/22/00607/FULL