High Court battle over Houghton Regis homes ‘will cost Luton Borough Council £500,000’

Katie Redmond will be contesting the Luton South seat at the general election
Katie Redmond will be contesting the Luton South seat at the general election

A High Court battle over plans for 5,150 new homes near Houghton Regis will cost Luton Borough Council more than £500,000, a parliamentary candidate has claimed.

Last month LBC was unsuccessful in its bid to halt the development which has been given outline permission by Central Beds Council.

Luton had argued that the approved plans won’t provide enough affordable housing, but will include far too much retail provision – more than is necessary to serve the area.

It also claimed that Central Bedfordshire failed in its duty to cooperate as a neighbouring authority.

Justice David Holgate rejected all of LBC’s grounds of challenge, branding several of them as “wholly unarguable”.

He added that the council’s case was “lacking in legal merit”.

LBC is attempting to reignite the issue by asking the Court of Appeal to re-examine the case, but has delayed on releasing the cost of the affair.

In a letter to the Herald & Post, Luton South Conservative parliamentary candidate Katie Redmond claims the challenge will cost Luton taxpayers “in excess of £500,000”.

She said: “Luton is now facing another year’s delay for new homes, homes which the council admits the town desperately needs.

“Instead of lengthy litigation, Luton needs long term planning and co-operation with neighbouring councils, which will be essential for Luton’s economic growth.”

A Luton Labour spokesperson said the figure was a “grossly exaggerated claim”.

A council spokesperson added: “We would not expect the costs to be anything like the sum suggested.”