Work is already underway on the conversion of an RAF base into a 175 home estate, the LBO can reveal.
In November Catalyst Housing completed a £14million deal to purchase the majority of RAF Stanbridge from Inland Homes.
Using planning permission previously obtained by Inland Homes, Catalyst plans to build 175 homes and has already started work on the site.
The £14million price Catalyst paid for the site is “significantly above book value”, Inland has said.
Neil Cox, Catalyst spokesman, told the LBO: “We have started work on the site and plan to build 175 new homes there: constructing a mix of apartments and houses – from 2 and 3-bed apartments, up to 3 and 4-bed detached houses.
“Some of the homes will be for sale while others will be for affordable rent or shared ownership, bringing much-needed new affordable homes to Leighton Buzzard.”
He added: “Catalyst is one of London and the south east’s leading housing associations, is a major developer of new homes for sale and rent, and we are delighted to have purchased the RAF Stanbridge site.”
As part of the £14million deal Inland Homes retained half an acre of the base and plans to build a 4,000 sq ft food store.
A ‘major’ food retailer has already struck a pre-let agreement on the planned store, the LBO understands.
RAF Stanbridge, which was built in 1939, served as a top secret communications base during the Second World War.
More than 600 servicemen and women ran its telephone and telegraph exchange, which at the time was thought to have been the biggest of its kind across the globe.
The base also hosted an MI5 and MI6 nerve centre, codenamed Q Central, which played a major part in the Battle of Britain and the D-Day landings in June 1944.
A ceremony marked RAF Stanbridge’s closure in 2012.