Work starts for independent living scheme in Houghton Regis

Work has begun on the new independent living scheme in Houghton Regis.

Representatives from the council, the community and contractor Galliford Try Partnerships met at the site on Thursday, March 7, to mark the start of the works on the former Co-op site, in The Green, Houghton Regis.

Clare Evans (Clerk of Houghton Regis Town Council), cllr Eugene Ghent, cllr John Kane (Mayor of Dunstable), cllr Fiona Chapman MBE (Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council), Ken Wattingham (Mayor of Houghton Regis), cllr Susan Goodchild, Andy Reynolds (Regional Director at Galliford Try Partnerships) and cllr Carole Hegley

Clare Evans (Clerk of Houghton Regis Town Council), cllr Eugene Ghent, cllr John Kane (Mayor of Dunstable), cllr Fiona Chapman MBE (Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council), Ken Wattingham (Mayor of Houghton Regis), cllr Susan Goodchild, Andy Reynolds (Regional Director at Galliford Try Partnerships) and cllr Carole Hegley

The event highlighted the vision for the new development planned for the site.

The new independent living scheme will provide 168 independent living apartments for over 55s, a restaurant, bar, café, shops and health and beauty treatment rooms.

Initial works have started at the site and the building will be constructed in two phases.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Eugene Ghent said: “We’re committed to investing in Houghton Regis and this is part of what we want to achieve.

“It’s a key site in the heart of the town and an opportunity to develop a disused site to provide accommodation for the over 55s, as well as offering a wider community facility for the future.”

Cllr Carole Hegley said: “These types of schemes are designed to be living, breathing parts of their communities, and that is my hope here.

“The ethos of the building is to provide residents with the right balance of privacy and support, to live and be independent.

“It’s part of a bigger plan to make sure we have the right sort of housing available for older residents, most of whom want to live in their own homes for as long as possible.

“We want a choice of quality options for our older residents, so they don’t come to their later years feeling like they have to ‘accept’ accommodation because their home is no longer suitable for them. This will be a place to celebrate life and we’re thrilled that work is starting.”

The shortlist of names for the building, as suggested by the local community, was announced at the event. They are All Saints View, Houghton Lea, Houghton Regis Central, Houghton View and Kings View.

To vote for your favourite name visit: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/name-hrc by Tuesday, March 19.