The effect of ‘people power’


A woman from Leighton Buzzard is encouraging others to voice their concerns over planning applications after raising her own with Taylor Wimpey.

Linda Holbrook, of Mercury Way, was one of several residents who had concerns about the 214 houses planned for the area behind her home on the Clipstone Park site.

In 2015 the outline permission was granted for 1,210 new residential units, a new link road between Vandyke Road and Stanbridge Road and 11 hectares of employment land at the Clipstone Park site.

Linda and the other residents wanted to raise their concerns with Taylor Wimpey, the builders for the 214 homes. She said: “When we saw the plans, the residents had a meeting to discuss their concerns. During the consultation in June, we felt Taylor Wimpey were not listening to us, at the time we did not feel listened to but we continued to contact them and arranged to meet with them two weeks ago.

“Our concerns were about our privacy, anti social behaviour, the flood risk and security for our homes, with regards to the footpath being built from Mercury Way to Jupiter Way. We had a meeting and discussed our concerns and they addressed them, they said they would increase our privacy by putting a fence up and the flood risk has been taken into consideration, the drainage system will not allow any more water onto our land. We hope extra drainage will go into the footpath as well.

“I believe the footpath has now been removed from the plans. We feel we were listened to and it was a good meeting, Taylor Wimpey have been really good.

“We are happy the changes are being made, it was difficult to word our concerns, but I want people to know that if they have concerns about planning applications they should voice their concerns, that is what we did and it has worked, there are positive improvements to the plans. People power can help to make a difference.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We are committed to engaging positively with the communities in which we build. We have established clear lines of communication between neighbours of our Clipstone Park site in Leighton Buzzard and our local team, and we are pleased to hear that residents are happy with our approach.”

A Hybrid Planning Application for the development of the site to provide employment floorspace of up to 48,313 sq m, at the Clipstone Park site on Leighton Road, has also been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council.