Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Have your say on proposals to transform part of Leighton Buzzard town centre

Friday, 10 March 2023

We're consulting on exciting plans designed to transform an area south of the High Street in Leighton Buzzard which will help to ensure the town continues to be a thriving, bustling and vibrant place.

We own several parcels of land in the area south of the High Street including the Westlands Care Home and Day Centre site, which is soon to be vacated, making the size of the land for future development an attractive opportunity to developers.

Market insight has shown that residential-led mixed-use development is the most likely for the area. A small amount of retail and other uses could be viable without detracting from the High Street.

Through extensive engagement with community groups and a study of cultural facilities in the town, there is a clear desire for a cultural facility in the town that can showcase the arts, culture and heritage of Leighton Buzzard. Community groups have asked us to provide land to make this a possibility. A study of public car parks across the town has shown that there is an over-provision of car parking spaces so consideration is being given to releasing some of Duncombe Drive car park space to increase the amount of space that could be developed.

The benefits of increasing the size of the development land are two-fold. It makes it a much more attractive opportunity for developers to invest in and gives us the best chance of making the biggest difference to the town as well as making a new community / cultural facility a possibility.

Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, said:

We have wanted to transform this area of Leighton Buzzard for many years, and we have taken a fresh look at it, and we have been realistic in our thinking because we want the development to be deliverable and actually happen.

The most likely development will be residential, this will mean more people living, working and spending their money in Leighton Buzzard town which will help to ensure the town continues to be a great place.

We want this development to deliver maximum benefits to the town, it’s about getting the best for the community and increasing the amount of Council land available for development makes the best use of our resources and will make a big difference to the town.

We’re keen to hear the views of the local community on this to help us shape how we move our ambitious plans for Leighton Buzzard forward.”

Find out how to have your say or pick up a paper copy at the library. The consultation is open until 2 June 2023.

During the consultation period, we will be hosting the following information sessions, both in-person and online:  

  • Saturday 25 March, 10 am-2 pm, Market Square
  • Tuesday 28 March, 10 am-2 pm, Market Square
  • Wednesday 19 April, 3:30-4:30 pm, online event
  • Thursday 20 April, 6:30-7:30 pm, online event 

We will consider the consultation feedback before making a decision at our Executive meeting in October 2023.