Hightown Housing Association has been given the go ahead by Luton Borough Council to build 65 flats and houses on Oakley Road, in Luton.

In an area where there is high demand for affordable homes, the new development, which is on the site of the former Whitbread Offices, will provide 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses alongside 1 and 2 bedroom flats. Most of the homes will be allocated to those on the council’s housing register with the remainder being available to buy as  shared ownership to  help people to get a foot on the housing ladder.

The flats will have private balconies and the houses will each have a private garden.

With over 13,000 households on the housing register and approximately 1,200 households in temporary accommodation, these much-needed affordable homes will help to meet the housing need in Luton.

The new development, Oakley House, will be located in the highly sustainable suburb of Leagrave and the site benefits from excellent links to Luton Town Centre and public transport. For travel further afield, Leagrave train station is only half a mile away, with links to London St Pancras. There is also easy access to the M1 motorway.

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This will be Hightown's fifth housing development in Luton, with the most recent being Moreton Road South, which was opened in 2020. The development will use predominantly Luton grey brickwork with buffs and reds and stone lintels. This is in keeping with the local area's use of material.

To make the homes more sustainable, some of the development's energy will be provided through renewable sources, in the form of solar panels on the blocks of flats.

Construction is expected to start in autumn 2022 and be completed by spring 2024.

The scheme is one of several projects where Hightown has purchased the land directly and will enter into a contract to build the extra affordable homes rather than working in partnership with a house builder to deliver affordable homes as a planning obligation.

Hightown has been named as the fastest growing housing association in the UK for the second year running, after building 429 homes last financial year, and on track to build over 500 this year.

Andrew Royall, Director of Development at Hightown Housing Association, said:

"It's great to receive such positive news. Securing planning permission enables us to continue our mission of building as many homes as we can below market rates and respond to people's social and housing needs. As there is a real shortage of affordable housing in Luton, the 65 new homes will help to tackle the issue and provide high-quality affordable homes, as well as thriving communities for local people."