Town Hall to welcome plans for 28k homes?

Councillors in Luton have discussed plans to build more than 28,000 new homes and 27,000 jobs in Bedfordshire before 2031.

At a meeting on Wednesday night, Luton Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board debated a formal response to Central Bedfordshire Council’s draft development strategy which was released back in June.

The plans could see almost 3,000 homes built to the north of Luton with a further 5,600 dwellings built to the north of Houghton Regis.

A draft response prepared prior to the meeting said that there is “much in the proposed draft strategy to welcome”, in particular the emphasis on creating jobs to match housing, quality design standards and the importance of securing supporting infrastructure, the authority did raise a number of concerns.

The report asked Central Beds Council for clarification over the contribution the planned number of houses will have to Luton’s housing needs.

It also raised concerns on the impact on the area’s roads prior to the completion of road links including the Dunstable bypass and a link road between the M1 and the A6.

Finally, it also called for any development to the south of M1 Junction 10a to compliment Luton’s employment and housing needs.

The committee recommended that the final response call for no development to the north of Luton until the M1/A6 Link Road and Junction 11A of the M1 are in place, that there be no urban extension anywhere around Luton or Houghton Regis without the full infrastructure already being in place, and that any urban extension to Luton should ensure that there is at least a 250 metre wide open green space, between the existing urban areas and any new development, where appropriate, to enable enhancement of green space.

A seven week public consultation on the Central Beds Draft strategy finished on August 8 with further consultation expected before Christmas.

The scheme could begin to come to fruition as early as February 2014 if the plans are approved.

Luton’s final response to the strategy will be discussed by the council’s executive committee at a meeting on September 10.