Councillor Hayley Whitaker and Phil Hardy at Chamomile gardens with smiling people on balcony behind.

Councillor full of praise for new retirement scheme

News – 9 December 2022

A brand-new independent living scheme for people over 55 has been described as a “really exciting new space” by a Biggleswade councillor after it was opened last week.

Built by affordable housing provider, Grand Union Housing Group, Chamomile Gardens is made up of 93 one and two-bedroom apartments and offers tailored care and support.

The Biggleswade scheme, which is the largest Grand Union has ever built, has been designed to help people relax into retirement, with each apartment having its own private balcony or terrace.

To celebrate the scheme’s completion, Grand Union held an open day to allow colleagues, the architect, suppliers and even local neighbours to see the scheme before the majority of residents move in.

Councillor for Biggleswade South, Hayley Whitaker, also attended and was full of praise for the scheme. She said: “I think it’s a really exciting new space in Biggleswade. I was getting some design inspiration as I walked around. It’s really spacious and airy, with lots of natural light. The rooms are a great size too.

“Lots of thought has clearly been put into the design – When I was in the Cinema room, the piping on the furniture room reminded me of old cinema seats.”

After being given a guided tour of the scheme, Cllr Whitaker commented on the benefits of the additional facilities, which include a hairdresser, restaurant and a changing places bathroom, which members of the public will be able to use.

“Because the scheme has the day care space and a restaurant, local people can come in and build on the sense of community. I think the wider implications are really important and it’s a great way to integrate people living here into the local community.”

Phil Hardy, Grand Union’s Executive Director of Operations, said: “We were delighted to be able to showcase this amazing scheme to Cllr Whitaker and those who live nearby. They will have seen the scheme taking shape over the last few years and so we wanted to give them a glimpse inside because we’re really proud of the building.

“Providing safe, modern and affordable homes is really important to us, but so is building stronger communities. That’s why it’s great that we can provide something that both the residents of Chamomile Gardens and local people can enjoy.”

The apartments are available as a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership. For more information, visit