Construction of Central Bedfordshire Council’s new independent living scheme in Houghton Regis reached another milestone this week, with a virtual 'Topping Out' to celebrate the building reaching its highest point.
All Saints View, being built by Vistry Partnerships, is on the High Street in Houghton Regis, right at the heart of the town, and will provide 168 apartments for the over 55s, along with shops, restaurant, café and community facilities.
A tour of the site was shared with Facebook followers, along with speeches, after a rather unusual topping-out yesterday (Thursday, 17 September).
Leader of the Council, Cllr James Jamieson, said: “We had planned a ceremony on site, but in the light of new COVID-19 restrictions, we thought – why not share the views with everyone!”.
A piece of roofing, marked with the signatures of current residents of Red House Court, Leader and Chief Executive of the Council, along with Managing Director of site contractor Vistry Partnerships, was put in place.
Red House Court residents will have the opportunity to be the first to move into All Saints View once phase one is complete, and their current home will make way for phase two of the scheme.
Cllr Jamieson added: “We felt it was still important to mark this milestone because it’s such a key project. The scheme itself is a major investment for us in times where there is less government funding, ever more pressure on our resources and a population that is older, with more complex needs. Against this background, and with the additional complications of a global pandemic, we are forging ahead with our commitment to deliver quality housing options for our older residents because we simply must plan for the future.”
“And the future here looks bright. Our aim for All Saints View is that it will be a place to celebrate life and, although we are still some way off the finish line, this milestone feels really significant.”
The first phase of the building is set to be completed in autumn 2021, although progress is dependent on restrictions from the current pandemic.
Richard Carr, Chief Executive of the council said: “To have reached the topping out stage, despite everything that has been going on, is really impressive. And whilst the topping out focuses on the building, this scheme is more than about bricks and mortar. It’s about creating new homes, but homes in which older people can live their lives as independently as possible, remaining connected to others; it’s about creating vibrant communities. We’re really excited by this project and are now looking forward to its completion and, above all, the difference it will make to people’s lives.”
Andy Reynolds, Managing Director at Vistry Partnerships (formerly Galliford Try Partnerships), said: “I want to pay tribute to the incredible team who have got us to this stage in extremely challenging circumstances. We’ve had to adjust to a new way of working and it makes me extremely proud to lead a team who are delivering a quality building, and what will be a magnificent place to live.”
The £30m scheme is being built with part-funding from Homes England.
Visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/all-saints-view for more information