Developer agrees £375k payment to Luton Borough Council over ‘London’ block of flats

The development was given conditional planning permission in 2015
The development was given conditional planning permission in 2015

A controversial development which includes two bed flats touted to investors in China and Malaysia for £550,000 is edging closer to fruition.

In February 2015 this newspaper exclusively revealed that Luton Borough Council had given conditional planning permission for three blocks comprised of 130 flats and 359 student rooms to be built on a car park opposite Whitbread House, Flowers Way, Luton.

The development was given conditional planning permission last month

The development was given conditional planning permission last month

Two bedroom flats in the town centre complex were advertised for £550,000 and touted as being “located close to one of the world’s leading financial districts and in one of the most cosmopolitan areas of London”.

The estate agent behind the ads blamed a “typographical error” and asserted it was “not a deliberate attempt to mislead” but despite this the Luton News has uncovered a brochure still available on the website of Sotheby’s Realty, which repeats the claim.

LBC approved the development on the condition that an agreement was reached with the applicant, Oyster Properties Assets Ltd, over provision of affordable housing and contributions to the town’s schools.

Last week LBC finalised a £375,553 education settlement with Oyster, which will be put towards the expansion of Tennyson Road Primary School and the purchase of a site for Chiltern Academy.

How the development could look

How the development could look

However LBC and Oyster remain locked in negotiations over the provision of affordable housing, which the council wants set at a minimum of 20%.

In its original application Oyster claimed that affordable housing on the site is “not financially viable”.

The developer will not be able to begin work on the site until its afforable housing plan is approved in writing by LBC.

A spokesperson for Oyster was unavailable at the time of going to press.