Plans to build on open space in New Bedford Road have been dramatically withdrawn by Barnfield College following weeks of protests by residents.
Locals living in the Bushmead and Barnfield area campaigned tirelessly against the plans which included building an 88-bed care home, a high dependency unit, housing, and flood-lit pitches.
Luton Borough Council received a request from Barnfield College’s agents to withdraw the application yesterday.
Alan Euinton, Interim Principal at Barnfield College said: “We are a listening organisation and therefore committed to taking on board the opinions of our local residents. For this reason we have completely withdrawn our original master plan. We are now looking at new and affordable ways to enhance and develop our student buildings and facilities as well as addressing the concerns raised during the consultation process.”
Residents’ main concerns were for the loss of green space and the increased traffic congestion the plans would cause.
Campaigner Rubina Zaidi of Blandford Avenue said: “Obviously I am pleased to hear this news and I hope that before submitting any alternative proposals Barnfield takes the council’s advice and consults the public. We will have to wait and see.
“It is heartening news and I would give it a cautious welcome until we see some alternative proposals. I hope Barnfield will save the open green space and not be car-hungry in increasing traffic.
“We have had the most amazing support from the local residents and from the local media - the Luton News and Three Counties.It’s given us the space on air and in print to express our concerns and I think the local media have done a valuable service to the residents.”
The green space was given to the college by Luton Borough Council free of charge in the 1990s.
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