Green light for 1,000 homes on Home Counties employment site

Councillors have approved a 1,000-home development on land being safeguarded for employment in their local plan.

Luton Town Hall. Image: AnemoneProjectors - Peter O'Connor (talk; Flickr)
Luton Town Hall. Image: AnemoneProjectors - Peter O'Connor (talk; Flickr)

Applicant Hayward Tyler, a manufacturing firm which owns the site, was granted outline permission by Luton Borough Council to redevelop its facilities with a 16-storey scheme providing up to 1,000 homes, alongside up to 7,800 square metres of commercial and community floorspace. 

Recommending approval, planning officers advised that the 2.8 hectare application site is allocated as an employment area in the 2017 Luton local plan, which states that “changes of use or redevelopment within the employment areas and sites that would result in a loss of floorspace for economic development uses will be resisted”.

The proposed scheme would result in the loss of 9,000 square metres of employment space, officers said, meaning “there would be a net loss of employment floorspace even should the upper end of the range of [proposed] commercial floorspace come forward”.

However, officers noted the applicant’s plans to relocate its existing facilities elsewhere in the borough, and said the proposed development would be likely to result in a net increase in jobs available at the site.

The proposed development includes a policy-compliant 20 per cent affordable housing contribution, officers noted, comprising 140 rented properties and 60 units allocated for low-cost home ownership.

Officers concluded that the proposed scheme would result in a “significant contribution to both the general and affordable housing needs of Luton, the creation of a high quality scheme that would create a pleasant living and working environment, improvements to the connectivity to other areas of the town”, and would maximise “the use of brownfield land in a highly accessible location”.

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