The plans for the site on Steppingley Road (the site of the former Flitwick Leisure Centre) have been approved by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Development Management Committee today (5 May 2021). The council said the work could start in this 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, with homes and apartments on the right-hand side for people who wish to “downsize”.
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 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.
The scheme will also 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 council said the development is designed to build a sense of community and friendship between the residents. With each resident having 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 the Council’s energy demands now and in the future.
Cllr Ghent said:
“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 at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/steppingley-road.