Hightown Housing Association has submitted a planning application to Luton Borough Council to redevelop the former Whitbread offices on Oakley Road in Luton into 65 flats and houses.

If planning permission is granted, the 65 high–quality affordable new homes will provide 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses alongside 1 and 2 bedroom flats. 49 of the homes will be allocated to those on the council’s housing register and the 16 shared ownership homes will help people to get a foot on the housing ladder.

All 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 1200 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.

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 meet energy requirements, ten per cent of the development's energy will be provided through renewable sources, in the form of solar panels on the blocks of flats.

If approved, Hightown aims to start construction in summer 2022 and complete the development by late 2023/early 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, with plans to build over 500 this year.

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

"There's a real shortage of affordable housing in Luton so this is a great opportunity to be able to transform a disused brownfield site into much needed affordable homes for local people."