First Park opens at Linmere for New Year



A place to meet? Photo: ©Sally Gray


The seating has "Linmere" etched in. Photo: ©Sally Gray


The first of several parks to be created at the new development village of Linmere next to Houghton Regis has opened to the public for the New Year. Sally Gray has been to have a look at the site and took the photographs on this page.

Fencing has been removed from the three-acre Linmere Park South, providing access for Houghton Regis and Linmere residents - and anyone else living, working or relaxing in the area. The opening follows a programme to install new seating, plant 80 trees and create wildflower areas.


The 11-acre Linmere Park North is due to open in the spring, once the planting has become more established.

Fences removed to open up a new path beside Ouzel Brook. A5 dual carriageway in the background .Photo: ©Sally Gray

Linmere Park includes a 100-metre running track, a 500-metre perimeter track and a cycle pump track, designed for use by people of all abilities. The park has been created to ensure the space offers as much scope as possible for the widest number of people, with flexibility for all forms of informal sports use. 

Green Park, next to Thornhill School, currently at the design stage, will offer sports pitches and games facilities, play areas and picnic spaces on 7.5 acres and is likely to open in 2023.

The first of Linmere's parks - Linmere Park South - opened to the public in the New Year

The parks make up around 90 of the 190 acres of natural habitat and green space at Linmere, all of which will be the looked after by national charity The Land Trust.

Day-to-day responsibility to help residents make the most of their natural environment falls to community ranger, Richard Eltringham who will use his background in social and therapeutic horticulture to devise activities to help residents get out into nature.

New climbing frame and see-saws. Photo: ©Sally Gray

Landscape architect Alex Comrie, director at Linmere's planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, said: "Linmere is leading the way in putting landscaping first. It's a landscape-led development, with parks, open spaces and green corridors. We're taking a long-term view. It's not just something that we put on the master plan. We're creating a legacy that will be around for decades to come. As a landscape architect, I am always striving to do more to enhance biodiversity and the quality and beauty of green spaces."

In total around 5,150 homes will be built over the next 15 years by the Linmere consortium which comprises master planners Lands Improvement, Aviva Investors, and the Diocese of St Albans.

Linmere will see the creation of two new state of the art primary schools and an extension to Houghton Regis' existing Thornhill Primary school. A ten-form secondary school will open in 2022/3. 

  1. The Linmere development is being brought forward by the Houghton Regis Management Consortium (HRMC), comprising Lands Improvement, Aviva Investors and the Diocese of St Albans.
  2. Outline planning consent was granted for the site in 2014, the initial application is still available on Central Bedfordshire Council's Planning Applications pages using reference CB/12/03613/OUT.
  3. Prior to the launch of the Linmere brand in May 2019, the development was previously known as HRN1
Photo: ©Sally Gray

  • Artist impression images courtesy of Linmere.com. Additional photographs were supplied by Sally Gray.




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