Construction firm submits plans to redevelop and expand in Leighton Buzzard

Vinci Technology Centre, Leighton Buzzard. Picture: Google MapsVinci Technology Centre, Leighton Buzzard. Picture: Google Maps
Vinci Technology Centre, Leighton Buzzard. Picture: Google Maps
Plans could be considered in January

A construction firm wants to redevelop and expand its operations in Leighton Buzzard, with plans which could be considered as early as next month.

Applicant Vinci UK Developments has submitted a hybrid planning application to Central Bedfordshire Council, as it wants to renovate and update its local industrial premises in the east of the town.

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The outline element of its proposals is for extra employment units and a three-storey office building on a 6.3-acre site at Vinci Technology Centre in Stanbridge Road.

A warehouse building, parking with an area for lorries, landscaping and other works are included in a full application from the company.

“The primary purpose of the facility is the testing of construction materials for use in the building industry,” according to the planning application form.

Agent for the applicant Black Box Planning said in a letter to CBC: “This application seeks the proposed expansion and redevelopment of Vinci Technology Centre.

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“This will provide a significant opportunity for the delivery of economic growth within an allocated employment site.

“The proposals are focused on the renewal of the site to deliver more efficient space and meet demand for future occupiers.”

The development would provide about 10,500sqm of employment space, said a letter to the agent from CBC strategic planning manager Stuart Robinson.

“The site is within an employment area, which has policy support if the plans contribute towards that need and don’t conflict with neighbouring land uses.

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“The principle of development is considered to be acceptable, subject to the submission of further economic information.”

Leighton Linslade Town Council resolved that no objection be made to the hybrid application.

The Environment Agency said it would object in the absence of an acceptable flood risk assessment, as it has concerns to be resolved.

In a letter, it explained: “This assessment doesn’t adequately assess the flood risks posed by the development, as the site’s northern boundary next to the ordinary watercourse is impacted by fluvial and surface water flooding.

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“Clear considerations and mitigations haven’t been shown for these risks. A mitigation plan would be expected to ensure floodplain is accommodated on site for the lifetime of the development, as a precautionary measure and as a minimum for this project.

“This is so flood waters aren’t displaced by the development, resulting in an increased flood risk elsewhere. The information submitted suggests the site is impacted by surface water flooding, particularly at the northern boundary.

“We’d recommend further investigation to determine if the site would be impacted by water being unable to enter the ordinary watercourse in a surface water flood scenario.

“Mitigation measures for surface water flooding should be considered, including flow exceedance routes and storage.

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“To overcome our objection, the applicant should submit a revised flood risk assessment addressing these points. It must show the development will be safe for its lifetime and won’t increase flood risk elsewhere. If this can’t be achieved, we’re likely to maintain our objection.”

The hybrid application is due to be considered by CBC’s development management committee next month.