Go-ahead for 39 new lifetime homes in Ampthill

Artist's impression of how Katherine's House and Gardens in Ampthill will look

Local housing provider, Grand Union Housing Group, has received planning permission from Central Bedfordshire Council to demolish and redevelop Katherine’s Gardens, an independent living scheme, and Katherine’s House, the site of their former office in Ampthill.

The approved development will see 39 one and two bedroomed homes, for social rent and shared ownership, built for people over 55. The homes are part of 1,500 Grand Union has committed to build over the next five years to play its part in ending the housing crisis.

Aileen Evans, Grand Union’s Group Chief Executive, said: “We know there’s a real need for homes that will accommodate our ageing population. And although the properties on this site were popular, they were small and unable to be adapted or accommodate specialist equipment. These new homes have been specially designed to enable adaptations as customers’ needs change.

“There’s space for easy wheelchair access and turning circles, together with wider doorways, and provisions have been made for adaptations, such as roof joists strengthened to allow for hoists to be installed. Bathrooms will either be wet rooms or have low profile showers, and stairways will be wide enough to accommodate stairlifts. All these design features will mean that these homes will remain practical for a lifetime.

“Whilst we’re sad to see the demolition of our old office, where I began my Grand Union career with Aragon Housing Association 25 years ago, we’re delighted that we can provide Ampthill with high quality, accessible, affordable housing instead.”

As part of the organisation’s environmentally responsible approach and their priority for energy efficient homes, Grand Union is looking to exceed building regulation requirements, with these new homes achieving Energy Performance Level B as a minimum.

Demolition will take place later this year with the development expected to be complete in the spring of 2026.