Central Bedfordshire Council has received planning permission for a new Care Home and Independent Living Scheme to suit future generations to come

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are providing a new Care Home and Independent Living Scheme in Flitwick. The new Steppingley Road Care Home will be situated on a large unused plot of land, located in the outskirts of the main residential area near a new leisure centre.

The proposal, designed in conjunction with Oliver & Robb Architects and CBC, includes a 72-bed care home, 88 units comprised of a mix of one and two bed independent living apartments, and an 8-bed short break unit. It is especially designed to build a sense of community and friendship between the residents. All of the units are linked to a central ‘core’ with shared facilities such a café/bistro, medical rooms, hair and beauty spa, community/multi-purpose space, multigenerational activity space and associated facilities.

Cllr Eugene Ghent, 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 need not mean staying in their family home until it is 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. From early work speaking with residents in the Flitwick area, we knew there was concern about the extra demand on health services, so we have 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!”

The whole building has been designed to meet international energy performance standards, known as Passivhaus, to help reduce the buildings energy demands now and in the future. The entire space will be connected internally, with large gardens and walks planned in and around the site to encourage use of the space by residents as well as the local community.

Concertus Design and Property Consultants are continuing to lead this project into its next stage. “Steppingley Road has been a really exciting project for us as a team” said the projects Architectural Consultant, Steven Ryles “managing a project that has so many different uses, while ensuring that the whole project feels coherent. By developing the whole building to Passivhaus Certified Standards, pushing to achieve a building that is not only sustainable now, but into the future, is a real triumph for our team and I could not be prouder.”

Steven added “The consultants we have been working with have worked extremely hard to meet the challenging requirements Passivhaus buildings require, especially at this scale.”

Using cutting edge technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has provided detailed intelligence to Central Bedfordshire Council. The Council have been able to engage in regular intervals throughout this process to ensure that they are getting everything they expected and more, from a project with such high importance to them and the local community. By using BIM, this helps manage and deliver projects more economically, with faster delivery times, improved risk management and better sustainability.

Planning permission was successfully granted this month with a proposed completion date of late Summer 2023. This project will be the largest CBC have ever delivered.