Living Space breaks ground on Bedfordshire scheme

Living Space has commenced construction at a 1.8 Ha site off Bedford Road (B5120), located under a mile from Houghton Regis town centre.
Shane Robinson,Chris Montague and Mark Tipping visiting Bedford Road construction site

Living Space has commenced construction at a 1.8 Ha site off Bedford Road (B5120), located under a mile from Houghton Regis town centre. The 57 homes – which are being delivered to housing provider Stonewater for affordable rent and shared ownership – will have an EPC A rating.

Central Bedfordshire Council recently granted Living Space planning permission for the residential development, which has a construction value in excess of £10m. Designed by Bristol-based Pad Design Ltd, the scheme will feature a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, to suit single households and families of up to six people. The mixed-tenure homes will be installed with air source heat pumps and PV roof panels and will be amongst the UK’s most eco-efficient affordable dwellings.

The site lies within the Houghton Regis North Strategic Allocation and is part of a major urban extension. Situated in a highly sustainable location, well served by public transport and town centre amenities, the scheme design responds to two adjacent sites where development activity is already underway.

Paul Breen, Managing Director of Living Space said: “An EPC A rating is the highest possible for new homes, illustrating the energy efficient credentials of the specification we will be delivering at this Houghton Regis development. The scheme will not be reliant on any gas supply, and a high proportion of the renewable energy required to power the homes will be generated by the solar PV panels fitted to each roof.

“We are very pleased to have broken ground at this site, which is our third project with Stonewater since 2020. A significant number of local jobs will be created and safeguarded as a result of the high-quality £10m construction programme. By working with our local supply chain and Stonewater to deliver these 57 purpose-designed affordable properties, we will be helping to ensure Houghton Regis’ urban extension caters for all.”

The new development will contribute to and enhance the architectural character of the area. All of the homes have been designed to National Design Space Standards, while the layout plan features landscaping and ecological enhancements, including an attenuation pond, new planting, and landscaped public open space.

Chris Montague, director of development (East and North) for Stonewater, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Living Space again, to bring this important development to life and enhance the provision of varying types of affordable housing in Bedfordshire.

“Across all our new developments we’re looking for ways to cut carbon emissions to support our sustainability commitments, but also to ensure we’re providing energy efficient, comfortable homes that are affordable for our customers. By installing air source heat pumps and solar PV panels, all future residents will be able to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, while also keeping household bills as affordable as possible. Whilst working towards our vision of giving everyone the opportunity to have a place that they can call home, as with all our new developments, we’ll also be looking to enhance the public realm and convey a distinctive narrative of place.”

The Bedford Road site development design will be tenure-blind, with local materials utilised to replicate nearby traditional dwellings. The 57 detached, semi-detached, and terraced homes will be constructed in red and orange brick with occasional white render to the top floor. Dual aspect ‘corner turning’ designs will be constructed at key locations within the scheme to achieve continual building lines.

The Bedford Road location benefits from easy access to the M1, enviable transport links and an array of employment opportunities around Dunstable and Luton. As the communities of Houghton Regis and Bidwell expand, new facilities and amenities will be delivered alongside the eco-efficient modern homes.

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