Crown Estate unveils near final plans for 550 homes on east Luton border

Critics have said that the development will effectively merge Luton with Cockernhoe
Critics have said that the development will effectively merge Luton with Cockernhoe

Finalised plans for 550 new homes on the border between Wigmore and Cockernhoe will be submitted this Spring, the Luton News understands.

Two public consultations on the Crown Estate’s plans for a 34 hectare green belt site off Luton Road, Cockernhoe, were held on Friday and Saturday, giving residents the opportunity to view proposals in greater detail.

The Luton Road site is currenly green belt land

The Luton Road site is currenly green belt land

The Crown Estate has scaled down its planned development from 600 to 550 homes, up to 40% of which could be made affordable housing.

Under current proposals Luton Road would be widened and a new roundabout would be built to provide access to the new estate.

Widenings and improved roundabouts on other roads in Wigmore are also under consideration.

On the consultations, Crown Estate strategic land manager Steve Melligan told the Luton News: “We had getting on for four hundred people there which was really good.

“We wanted to hear what people think about the plan and take on board comments where we can.

“It is clear that there are some concerns about the scheme and those issues are now being worked through.”

North Herts District Council may take a year to make a decision on the Crown Estate’s planning application, so that it can consider the development along with two other neighbouring schemes.

Bloor Homes has submitted a planning application for 1,050 homes, a primary school and other community use facilities on land to the east of Cockernhoe, running behind the Luton Road bridle path.

Bloor, which has called the site ‘Wandon Park’, also plans to build 400 new homes on land further north.

In its emerging local plan NHDC has identified the land around Cockernhoe, Tea Green and Wandon End as a potential site for up to 2,100 homes.

Critics have claimed the scheme will change east Luton ‘beyond all recognition’, but the Crown Estate has said that it will have benefits for residents in Wigmore and Cockernhoe.

Mr Melligan added: “We understand the concerns of the people who live there and will be most impacted by this, but there will be alot of new facilities which can be used by existing residents as well as new ones.

“There will also be a number of improvements to the road network.”

Wigmore resident Carolyn Cottier contended that the primary school and community facilities proposed in the overarching scheme are merely “token gestures”.

She told the Luton News: “It would be an awful thing if this goes ahead, so many people will be upset.

“We are really hard pushed to find any benefits from it at all.

“The developers will make money and leave and we will be left with the problems from it.”

She added: “They haven’t mentioned the costs this will have for the police, fire service and on local healthcare – who will pay for the teachers in the school?”

“We will get nothing from this except the destruction of our much-loved green belt.”

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