Priorities for Leighton Buzzard – Sustainable Development

Over the past few weeks I have spoken to many residents on the doorsteps of LB South – it is apparent that one of the biggest concerns is the continuing development around the town and the lack of supporting infrastructure.

Clipstone Park – off Hockliffe Road

I share these concerns – the town cannot support this number of houses, and the infrastructure is creaking under the pressure.

Some will have you believe that your current Councillors could have stopped these developments – believe me, if this had been possible we would have done so. However, these developments were a result of decisions made by the Liberal Democrat run Town Council in 2006 – (read the full LBO article here and a second follow up article here).

I am committed to ensuring these new developments have the right infrastructure, and that every possible measure is taken to reduce the impact on the existing community.

My colleagues and I have worked with CBC Officers to secure significant commitments from the developers:

– a Neighbourhood Centre (including retail units)
– a Public House
– a Multi Purpose Hall
– a GP Surgery
– Offices
– a Children’s Nursery
– Community Hall
– Retail Units
– an Elderly Person Care Home of up to 70 Beds
– a New Eastern Link Road between Heath Road and Stanbridge Road together with associated residential and employment access roads with associated car parking,
– new Roundabout on the A505,
– the laying out of an area to the north and south of Clipstone Brook as a Park forming part of an Area of Green Infrastructure,
– the laying out of structural landscaping and green corridors for recreational use,
– the laying of 7.45ha of land as formal pitch provision together with the erection of appropriate changing facilities,
– the construction of footways and cycleways,
– the laying out of 0.75ha as Allotments,
– the construction of 2 neighbourhood equipped areas for play and four locally equipped areas of play,
– a Primary School including a multi-use Games Area,
– Land for expansion of Vandyke Upper School, including a Multi Use Games Area,
– Land for a Leisure Centre for Leighton Linslade (subject to Planning).

I know there is a lot of scepticism as to how much of this will be delivered. I will work with CBC Officers to ensure the developers deliver on their commitments and they do not leave the town in a worse state.

The eastern relief road and A505 roundabout is already under construction – early delivery of this essential infrastructure is due to pressure from local Councillors to bring forward this road early in the project.

For further information on development and the role of the planning committee, please see the following blog posts:

The history of development in Leighton Buzzard

A quick guide to planning

Planning and local plans

It should be noted that whilst CBC can deliver a building for a Doctors’ Surgery, the NHS has to commission GPs to work from that building. Similarly, CBC can include retail premises but there has to be commercial interest in running a shop.

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