Plans for 342 homes on a former commercial site in Luton have been approved.

Applicant Nazmo Limited’s full plans include 1,655 sq m of employment space on the two-and-a-half acre Cawleys Waste and Resource Management site at 187 to 189 Waller Avenue.

Plans show 136 one-bedroom, 150 two-bed and 56 three-bedroom properties.

Principal planning officer at Luton Borough Council, Graham Dore, said: “The 342 properties and four non-residential units are within a three- to 13-storey envelope. Of the 176 parking spaces, the majority are in the basement. This site is within a category A employment area, which would be protected for commercial and industrial development usually.

“There would be a significant uplift in the number of jobs generated here, rising from 20 to an anticipated maximum of 130. It will make good use of this transitional location, offering economic improvement and greater benefit to nearby residential areas. A significant opportunity arises to help regenerate this part of the borough.

“The mix of housing includes apartments, duplexes, mews homes and family houses. A contemporary approach was adopted throughout the design, with an emphasis placed on bold features. A fire safety strategy is included in the recommendation, while the proposals were amended twice to accommodate comments from the health and safety executive (HSE).

“The development offers fully landscaped communal areas throughout,” he added. “A mini-roundabout will replace the T-junction where Selbourne Road meets Waller Avenue. The cycle storage exceeds the council’s requirement. This makes good use of a poorly designed site.

“A viability mechanism will be included in the legal agreement to ensure any extra value which could arise through economic improvements can be secured.”

Director and founder of Benchmark Architects and agent Mark Doohan said: “Navigating a development of this scale, to process something which can satisfy and meet policy requirements, is no mean feat.

“It’s involved working with officers and the regional design panels to achieve the highest quality of appearance and an above policy requirement for larger family homes. We’ve ensured there’s a good mix of accommodation type, including proper houses with driveways and gardens.”

Councillors voted five in favour of the development and one against.

Image source: Luton Borough Council

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