All Saints View, Houghton Regis, Phase 2 to start soon

  • Local Councilors last week toured All Saints View (ASV) with Vistry Partnerships Project Manager, Mark Doyle.

Vistry Partnerships
 has the £33m contract with Central Bedfordshire Council to build the independent living development between the High Street and Clarke's Way in Houghton Regis. 

When completed, the development will include 168 one and two-bedroomed apartments, as well as community space, a restaurant, retail opportunities and care and reablement facilities. 

The Red House

Now - The Red House facing The Green.

The site of the adjacent Red House building (Grade II listed) is also included in the overall scheme and steps will be taken to preserve it.  See the listing on Historic England website. Below see artist's impression of how the Red House will look following demolition and Phase 2 ASV rebuilding works.

Future view.

Why demolish Red House Court? 

The demolition of Red House Court (RHC), a neighbouring sheltered housing scheme, will soon be taking place. Residents from RHC were due to move into the Phase 1 completed building.

When the ASV scheme was first conceived it was explained to councillors by CBC housing officers that specifications for this building purpose had moved on since RHC was constructed, and that demolition and re-build were more cost-effective than refurbishment.

Red House Court building to be demolished so that Phase 2 of ASV can begin.

The new view of ASV in Clarke's Way will look something like this artist's impression:

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council was today unable to confirm when demolition will begin but thought it unlikely to be within the next month, but confirmed, “All residents who wished to move from Red House Court to All Saints View have now moved to their new apartments and are settling in, getting to know the building, and using the facilities.”

Apartments at Red House Court overlooking The Green to be demolished to make way for ASV Phase 2 building works.

Councillor's Tour

Members of the Houghton Regis Town Partnership (a committee made up of Houghton Regis Town Councillors, and CBC councillors for Houghton Regis), toured the site late last week (top picture). 

After the tour, Cllr Susan Goodchild told us, “I was pleased that we were given this opportunity.  The key things for me were the importance of being a good neighbour to local residents as there is likely to be some disruption in particular construction traffic, noise and pollution.  A spokesman for Vistry Partnerships explained the sprinkling system that will be in place to address the dust.  

“Safeguards around the play area were a concern, the constructors would have liked yellow lines to be in place but this cannot happen as it will require public consultation.  They intend to place some low barriers to prevent children from running into the road. 

“I mentioned that I had received notification that Clarkes Way and the road leading to Houghton Hall are also due to  resurfaced between June - September 2022.  These works will now need to be rescheduled.  I am in communication with CBC with regard to this.  

“I raised a concern with regard to parking, learning from some of the lessons in Phase 1, we were assured that construction workers will be informed every day about the need to use the former Netto Site, which Vistry has leased from Morrisons. 

“I asked about the timescale of the project, it is due to be completed by December 2023.  I suggested that Vistry liaises with the Town Council about the Events which take place on The Green, especially the Carnival, the fair and the circus as this attracts a high footfall of people and cars.  I was assured that they will liaise with the Town Clerk.  

“I want to do all that I can to support the residents as I appreciate the challenges that residents will have to face.  

“I was keen that they liaise with Habitang as we have many disabled residents living in the area and I need to be assured that they will be able to gain access to the town centre in a safe way.  The footpath in front of Red House Court and the path at the side leading to the Memorial Stone will remain open.  

“Vistry will need to be in touch with Royal Mail to relocate the post box. Vistry asked if it was still used, and I explained that it was. I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to share my concerns and learn about the process and timescales. Well worth making time to take up the opportunity.” 

Cllr Yvonne Farrell added, "That's about it.  We were told how the demolition. I asked where all the rubble would go? Except for certain materials it will all be recycled into the foundations etc.  It will be taken down in bite-size pieces. The team will be keeping us informed on progress."

Vistry Partnerships has written to nearby residents about the next Phases of work at All Saints View, reproduced below:

Dear Resident,
Let me start by thanking you all for your patience throughout the construction stage of Phase 1 at All Saints View. This is by far the most enjoyable project that I have been involved in to date and I can only attribute this to the good relationships that have been built with local residents and business owners. I hope we have not caused too much disruption to your day to day lives and hope to be able to be in a position to share news of who will be moving into the commercial units that will soon be opening.

Phase 1 of the development is now complete and residents from Red House Court are now settling into their new apartments at All Saints View and enjoying all the facilities the building has to offer.

Now that Red House Court is empty we are swiftly progressing the planning stages of the demolition to Red House Court and the start of construction of Phase 2. As of Monday 11 April 2022, we will be progressing with securing the site be erecting a full timber hoarding and disconnection of all the utilities. This is to ensure that whilst the building is not occupied, it will reduce the risk of any antisocial behaviour.

I would like once more to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding during the construction of the All Saint View development. I will of course provide more details information about the demolition of Red House Court as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely
Mark Doyle, Project Manager, Vistry Partnerships East Midlands

Councillor Objects to Project Manager

Cllr Pat Hamill (Tithe Farm CBC councillor) commented on News Desk Conversation Facebook Group (comments reproduced with permission), last week “ I decided to make a stand against Vistry’s Project Manager who was showing councillors around today, by objecting to his presence.

“He was responsible for ensuring in Phase 1 that parking was controlled and did not inconvenience our residents when in fact the opposite happened and his Netto Car Park rented for his contractors remained half empty because they were parking in the Peel Street Car Park. I managed to get this car park freed up for resident use which has worked perfectly. When phase 2 starts let’s hope this project manager exercises more control so the residents of Clarke’s Way and nearby roads are not inconvenienced further. 

“I will be keeping a close eye on this build. Having confronted this project manager face to face on your behalf before I hope that this will not be necessary in the future. The officers have assured me that they will keep me updated and I will ensure that I will be ready to act should our residents be taken for granted again.”

Planning Approval

Planning Approval for the development was granted in November 2016. The original working title for the project was 'Houghton Regis Central' which some thought sounded like the name of a train station, but the final name was decided through public consultation and it became 'All Saints View'. 
Credits:  photos as marked: G Winter and M Murphy.