The Brook, Houghton Regis
Factsheet and Frequently Asked
The Brook is a new build development we are proposing to deliver on a small piece of unused land in Windsor Drive, Houghton Regis (see red outline on the map to the right).This is one of a series of developments across the area.
The scheme designs were submitted for planning approval in the summer of 2017, but due to public feedback, we have now withdrawn that application and are resubmitting a new planning application in December 2018 with some alterations. We have produced some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that talk in more detail about the scheme.
What is the proposed development?
The development is planned to deliver a 20 unit transitional housing scheme. A transitional housing scheme is one that houses single adults with a housing need (although this would have the capability to house couples). It would include communal facilities including a kitchen, living/dining area, laundry and a private garden area.
The reason we want to build transitional housing is because the Council has a legal duty to provide accommodation to households who require emergency accommodation when they are homeless.
· The scheme will consist of 20 x 1 room units, with communal facilities and office space.
· Three of the units will be wheelchair accessible.
· The scheme will be managed by the council. We manage other similar schemes, including Franklin House in Dunstable.
· The building will be used to provide short to medium term accommodation for single adults and couples.
· We will work with tenants during their stay to identify suitable move-on accommodation and where required support them to develop the skills needed to sustain longer term housing solutions.
Questions and answers
What will be built on the site?
The proposal is to develop a 20 unit, 3 storey transitional housing scheme, comprising of 17 X 1 bedroom units and 3 X 1 bedroom wheelchair accessible units, with communal facilities and office space.
The communal facilities will include the following: laundry; kitchen; living /dining area; and an enclosed garden area.
We are submitting a full planning application for the proposed development in December 2018.
What is a transitional housing scheme?
A transitional housing scheme provides an individual with short to medium term accommodation while they search for and prepare to transition into longer term housing. We work with residents during their stay to identify suitable move on accommodation, (e.g. private rented sector / affordable home ownership) and, where required, support individuals to develop the skills needed to sustain longer term housing solutions.
Why was the site chosen for development?
The site is currently an unused grassed area, located in between a brook and neighbouring buildings (see map on first page) which has previously been identified as having development potential. The site is in a sustainable location with good access to local facilities and sustainable modes of transport. There is a bus stop located immediately in front of the site and a cycle path and pedestrian footpath immediately adjacent to the site. The location was an important factor when determining the appropriateness of the site for the intended use, as a number of residents will not own a car.
Who is the building designed for?
The building will predominately be used to house single adults with a housing need but does have the ability to house couples. Individuals will have a local connection to Central Bedfordshire and will typically be local to Houghton Regis.
What is the average length of expected tenure?
This will vary for each applicant but it is likely to be between one week and several months. It is envisaged that the maximum length of stay will be two years. Occupants will be given a licence rather than a tenancy agreement due to the short term nature of the accommodation.
Will tenants have support needs?
The building has not been designed specifically to house individuals with support needs. Each prospective tenant would be subject to a robust risk/needs assessment. Floating support will be provided when it is identified that an individual has a support need. There will also be an on-site Scheme Manager who will provide support to tenants. Where it is identified that an individual has high support needs, a different, more specialised type of facility would be required.
What type of training will be given to tenants?
The training / support provided will be dependent on the specific risk and needs assessment undertaken. Training will be focused on providing the individual with the ability to sustain longer term housing solutions. The accommodation will provide a degree of stability within which people can get into a more sustainable situation to succeed in a tenancy elsewhere.
Where appropriate do charities provide training / support on the council’s behalf?
Yes, some might, for example NOAH (a homelessness charity we work with) have a “training academy” in Luton and Amicus have a Steppingstone project to help people into work. There are no firm proposals at this time.
What will be the management arrangements?
The scheme will be managed by Central Bedfordshire Council. The building incorporates office space for a Scheme Manager, who will be on site a minimum of three mornings a week. There will be a call out operation, with out of hours for emergencies only.
Will tenants be asked to leave during the day?
No, the scheme is not a Night Shelter. Residents might be undertaking training or receiving support during the day by our staff or other agencies.
Will tenants be able to drink alcohol on site?
No, alcohol will not be permitted on site.
Is the proposed scheme similar to Bedford Court, the Council owned temporary accommodation scheme?
The scheme will be similar to Bedford Court. However, the accommodation will be used to meet various housing needs, not just transitional accommodation. The Brook will be used for single adults rather than families. The average length of stay is envisaged to be longer at the Brook.
Has the building been designed to be wheelchair friendly?
Three of the units have been designed to be fully wheelchair accessible.
Can the accommodation be used for homeless people who need an operation but cannot have it as there is nowhere to be discharged to?
Yes, it could be used for this purpose, as it could for someone with disabilities waiting for a suitable property to be found / adapted. The Council has a leading role in the prevention agenda and enabling quicker hospital discharge through a protocol agreement.
What happens next?
The indicative timetable is as follows:
Planning application submitted – December 2018
Project on site – April 2019, if approved
Scheme completed – Winter 2019
Contact us: Janine Morris, Intensive Property Management team
By telephone:0300 300 5361
By email: email@example.com
On the web: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
Write to: Central Bedfordshire Council, Watling House, High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1LF
Last updated about 5 months ago