Station Road Development Plans Unveiled
Detailed plans for the new Station Road development in Flitwick announced in May have been unveiled. The plans include a new community headquarters on Station Road for both the Flitwick Scout Group and the Royal British Legion and a short-stay shoppers’ car park.
In addition, an application has been submitted for outline planning permission for a retirement living facility with privately owned flats for the over 55’s on the remainder of the land on Station Road. The sale of this land to a private developer will release the necessary funds to build the new headquarters building and provide the car park.
Both organisations are delighted with the proposed plans. Flitwick & District Branch of The Royal British Legion said: “The Members of the Flitwick and District Branch of the Royal British Legion are delighted that the provision of a new headquarters in Station Road is now progressing. We are pleased to have worked with past and present councillors and staff to achieve this outcome.
“On behalf of the Members of the Branch and Committee we are looking forward to the completion of the building which will not only benefit the Legion but also the community who will use it for a variety of activities for example, keep fit, bingo and dominoes clubs, bridge, U3A, Widows Group to name just a few. Everyone will benefit from more room and more parking spaces and security.”
Flitwick Town Council has been working closely with both organisations in developing the plans to ensure the new facilities meet their individual needs.
Flitwick Scout Group said: “The plan to build a new headquarters for Flitwick Scout Group is very positive news for the Scout Group. Adult volunteers from the Group have been working closely with Flitwick Town Council to ensure the new building will accommodate all of the requirements for the biggest Scout Group in the county. The current building is used every weekday evening by nine sections. More than 230 young people aged 6 to 18 are involved in the group and it has been a base for Flitwick Scout Group for many years.
“Young people involved with the group get the opportunity to try new activities, gain in confidence and learn skills for life. The Group has shown impressive growth over the last seven years with more children and adults joining and new sections starting up. Although maintained by volunteers on a regular basis, the building is showing its age and is no longer fit for purpose, and if the Group stayed put it would need a considerable amount of money spent just to bring it up to a reasonable standard. Part of the plan is to have a bigger hall and this will provide opportunities for more young people in Flitwick to join the Group.”
Flitwick Town Council is working with Central Bedfordshire Council and its Market Towns initiative to enhance aspects of the town particularly the Station Road development.
Councillor Phillip Thompson, Town Mayor, said: “The Scouts and Royal British Legion Headquarters were built in the 1970’s and are now looking very tired. With more people wishing to participate in their activities new, modern buildings need to be constructed. The current site of both buildings is very constrained with the access to the allotments running down the centre; this site is felt to be ideal to provide a short stay-high turnover car park near to the shops and bank in the eastern part of the town. Car parking of this nature was highlighted when we surveyed residents in 2016/17 and will benefit local businesses.
“Provision of older persons accommodation for owner-occupiers was also a demand that has not been met. We have rented property and residential homes but very little for purchase to allow residents of Flitwick to downsize and still live in our town. The ability to downsize helps homes to come onto the market and keep our town vibrant with new families arriving in our community.
“Central Bedfordshire Council is also about to start improvements to the area in front of Barclays Bank this summer and together this will help us improve the centre of the town for all our residents.
“These are exciting times for Flitwick; we have just opened the new Millennium Park play area and are planning the new burial ground and country park in Maulden Road.
“Flitwick Town Council is always conscious of other needs of our residents such as a new doctors surgery and we are lobbying the Health Service locally about this on their behalf. We are also still working to get disabled access for Flitwick Station which we see as essential.”
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