Life Style

There’s a buzz about Leighton Buzzard, the historic market town with a real community feel

But while it’s true you can find a decent-sized Victorian or new-build house in Leighton Buzzard for the price of a bijou flat in a fashionable suburb or Hertfordshire hotspot, the town has many more strings to its bow.

Commutability is one of them, with fast trains into the capital and easy access to the M1 and A5.

It also has lots of open spaces to explore and activities to keep everyone busy: walks and canoeing on the Grand Union Canal, horse-riding and cycling in Rushmere Country Park, or a more sedentary ride on the local steam railway.

The town has a three-tier education system with lower, middle and upper schools – virtually all rated as outstanding or good by Ofsted – though it’ll be changing to a more conventional two-tier structure over the coming years.

Michelle Phoenix, 36, head of online trading and customer relationship management for a jeweller, and her partner, Daniel Costa, 35, a trading manager for Easyjet, have relocated to Leighton Buzzard from Bushey in Hertfordshire. They upsized from a small one-bed rented house to a spacious four-bedroom new-build at David Wilson Homes’ Clipstone Park development, where they live with their toddler daughter, Mia, and newborn son, Mateo.

We were house hunting with a view that one day we would have children but had no idea quite how soon that would happen. We found out we were expecting Mia literally one day after we viewed and reserved the house. Luckily for us, the sale went through quickly. It was a relief to know it would be ready for Mia’s arrival.

We wanted an easy commute to both London and Luton, had a certain budget and crucially the home had to be a new-build as we were after a blank canvas with fresh paint and tiles. We were looking for a house similar to the ones we grew up in, with lots of space, a big garden and a sense of community where we would picture our children one day living. 
As soon as we saw the plans for Clipstone Park and how much green space was incorporated, we were sold.

We weren’t eligible for any homebuying schemes but had been carefully saving the whole time we were in Bushey. Pooling our savings together put us in a secure position to pay a 15 per cent deposit, and the rest went towards customising our new home.

The development has plenty of walks for us to explore and I have met a lot of my neighbours when walking around with my daughter. I always wanted this sense of community where you know the people that live next to you and it’s worlds apart from our previous home. It also helps a lot to know that our new house is more energy efficient and we won’t be stuck paying extortionate bills.

David Wilson Homes @ Clipstone Park

One of a number of developments on a large site a five-minute drive from the town centre and ten minutes from junction 11a of the M1. Four-bedroom houses with detached garages are currently available, and facilities such as schools, sports pitches and parks will be coming soon.

Source of data and images: metro

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