Plans for large scale Cockernhoe development ‘would change east Luton beyond all recognition’

Land between Wigmore and Cockernhoe is being eyed for a development
Land between Wigmore and Cockernhoe is being eyed for a development

Rekindled plans for thousands of homes on the east of Luton would change the area ‘beyond all recognition’, according to campaigners.

On Friday and Saturday the Crown Estate will hold two public consultations over its plans for a green belt site on the edges of Wigmore and Cockernhoe.

At present the area is allocated in the North Herts District Council for 2,100 homes, though it is feared that the potential for development on an adjoining site could push that number up to more than 4,000 in total.

Numerous plans have been submitted in the last five years and in July 2013 residents from Cockernhoe, Wigmore and surrounding areas packed out a community hall for a meeting in opposition to plans for a total of 3,500 homes.

Campaigners remain braced for further proposals.

Carolyn Cottier told the Luton News: “Everyone would suffer from this, the only people that would benefit are the developers making money.

“It would change the area’s character beyond all recognition as it would absolutely obliterate the views there.“

She added: “It is not just Wigmore that would be affected by this, it also concerns Cockernhoe, Stopsley, Crawley, Lilley and Offley.”

Another Wigmore resident told us: “I moved here two years ago for the peace and quiet, it is also one of the only places in Luton that is liveable in.

“This development would engulf everyone, it would be absolute chaos”.

Crown Estate strategic land manager Steve Melligan said: “We are committed to working with the local authority through the Local Plan system to deliver a high quality, sustainable development.

“This initial consultation will give local people the chance to shape our proposals early in the process”.

> The consultations will be held at Cockernhoe Memorial Hall between 5pm and 8pm on Friday, and at Wigmore Church between 10am and 1pm on Saturday.