Luton’s life-changing 1.5bn transformation is set to continue with plans to create a new, key employment site at Century Park.
London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), working in partnership with its shareholder Luton Borough Council, has announced it is to submit a planning application in the summer for 70 acres of commercial development, facilitated by a new 1.6-mile access road.
The site was recently acquired by LLAL and has become part of the new London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone, supported by SEMLEP, which will deliver up to 7,200 new jobs and inward investment to support economic growth across the sub-region.
Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL, said: “This is the latest exciting development in the continuing delivery of the Luton Investment Framework , which is already well on track to bring £1.5bn into the borough over 20 years and improve employment prospects and outcomes for local people.
“Consultation and engagement with stakeholders and the wider community will take place shortly so that we can provide more details, receive any suggestions or questions that people may have, and to ensure that there is the least possible disruption to airport operations, businesses and local residents, as we bring this key development forward.”
The application will also include investment in improved facilities in the northern section of Wigmore Valley Park, to include a new play area, refurbished Wigmore Pavilion and a green corridor linking to a new area of public open space being provided to allow Century Park to be delivered.
This provision is designed to replace open space within the southern section of Wigmore Valley Park’s current footprint which is needed for the road and the job-creating business park.
The challenge of how to provide access to Century Park has long stalled this important source of jobs.
It is now proposed that the access road will run to Century Park from a new roundabout on the A1081, and around the northern and eastern perimeter of London Luton Airport.
Subject to planning approval being received, work on improvements to Wigmore Valley Park, and to deliver the new public open space, could start by early in 2018 and complete later that year.
Work on the road would begin in summer 2018, and conclude in early 2020.
Commercial development will be brought forward in two phases, with the first businesses scheduled to be in place during 2021, or earlier. All of the development and the replacement public open space will be within the borough of Luton.
Cllr Malcolm added: “LLAL is committed to improving the public open space available in the area to local residents, and to the careful design of a scheme that minimises impact on the environment.
“I would like to thank those businesses in the area who have already enabled our ground investigation works to take place since the summer, and we will shortly begin talking with them about how we intend to provide ongoing support throughout this process.”
Leader of Luton Borough Council, Cllr Hazel Simmons, said: “It is fantastic to see Century Park coming forward as part of the London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone and the wider £1.5 billion Investment Framework for the town.
“Century Park will help attract much-needed new jobs and investment to our town and is a key part of the strategy aimed at securing a better future for residents of Luton and also the surrounding area.”
Consultation details will be published soon.