Beds, Herts & Bucks

No plans yet for footballer affordable homes dream

Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble, and Bobby Zamora Image copyright Jake Ratcliffe
Image caption Footballers Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble, and Bobby Zamora are behind the Legacy Foundation

A £400m housing project backed by Premier League footballers remains a "long way off", it has emerged.

Former England skipper Rio Ferdinand's Legacy Foundation wants to build 1,300 homes in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire.

The building work on the huge scheme was originally scheduled to begin in "early 2017".

But both the foundation and Central Bedfordshire Council confirmed no plans had yet been submitted.

The foundation, which also includes ex-Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and current West Ham captain Mark Noble, was set up to build social and affordable housing.

Image copyright Legacy Foundation
Image caption Building work was expected to start at the Houghton Regis site in 2017

As well as the homes, the Houghton Regis proposal include a sports academy, a crèche, a leisure centre with a gym and swimming pool as well as education and community facilities.

A council spokesman confirmed it had seen neither outline (preliminary) or detailed (final) planning documents.

He added formal submission of any documents was understood to still be "a long way off".

Speaking to the BBC last year about why he wanted to develop housing, Mr Ferdinand said: "I don't ever want to be known for the rest of my life as just a footballer.

"I want something I can look back on."

The Legacy Foundation said: "No planning application has been submitted and hence construction has not commenced."

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