Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

The go-ahead has been given for much-needed homes for older people in the Flitwick area

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

The plans for the site on Steppingley Road (the site of the former leisure centre) have been approved at our Development Management Committee today (5 May) and work could start in the autumn.

The application was split into two parts including a care home, independent living scheme and community facilities on the left-hand side of the site complemented with contemporary homes and apartments on the right-hand side for people who wish to “downsize”.

Councillor Eugene Ghent, our Executive Member for Housing and Assets, said:

This is a huge step forward in delivering our ambition for a variety of housing for older people in the area.

We know that there is an increasing older population in Central Bedfordshire, but we also know that people want to remain independent for as long as possible. That needn’t mean staying in their family home until it’s too difficult to manage; independent living schemes offer the best of both worlds. There is also a care home on site for those who need a bit more support.

The independent living scheme (sometimes known as extra care housing) is made up of 88 one and two-bed self-contained apartments for the over 55s, but the scheme offers much more than just an apartment. The scheme will have private recreational facilities, including a private lounge and roof gardens, in addition to shared community facilities like a café/ bistro, salon, function rooms and dedicated space for the use of health practitioners. The scheme is especially designed to build a sense of community and friendship between the residents. Crucially, each resident has their own front door, with options to access care according to their needs.

The residential care home will have 72 en-suite rooms, private gardens and is designed to modern standards that deliver excellent infection control.

The whole building is designed to meet dementia-friendly guidelines and international energy performance standards, known as Passivhaus, to help reduce our energy demands now and in the future.

Councillor Ghent added:

From early work speaking with residents in the Flitwick area, we know there was concern about the extra demand on health services, so we’ve deliberately allowed for some space in the building to be used for health provision, if required. People also said that it should feel part of the community and we have included a multi-use space for people to book, whether that’s for parent and child groups, or book clubs!

Now approved, work could start in October 2021 and take two years to complete.

Find out more about our Steppingley Road development.