Priory View — Wins Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development!

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Priory View, an independent living scheme in Dunstable, has been awarded the title of Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development at the Grand Final of the LABC Building Excellence Awards – one of the most recognised events on the building industry’s calendar. A panel of industry experts judged Priory View the category winner out of 11 finalists from across England and Wales.

Priory View, which was officially opened by HM The Queen in April this year, is a five storey residence containing 83 apartments of mixed tenure (affordable rent and shared ownership) for residents aged 55 or over. The building is a community hub including a restaurant, café, minimarket, hairdressers and beauty/treatment rooms in central atria, located within easy walking distance of Dunstable Town Centre. Priory View is the first independent living scheme built by Central Bedfordshire Council. This was a major challenge, a steep learning curve and very rewarding for the Council.

Priory View was deemed to be unique because it has the ‘wow’ factor from the second you walk in, rather than accommodation that an older person has to ‘accept’ because their home is no longer suitable for them. The colour schemes are bright and warm and the leisure areas are welcoming and spacious. The café and restaurant are shared with the local community and a delightful place for residents to take their family and friends. The roof terrace provides a great place to relax and the landscaped gardens and potting sheds give residents a place to make their mark on the development.
Cllr Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care and Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We are delighted that Priory View has won with this award. The ethos of the building is to provide residents with the right balance of privacy and support, to live and be independent. This win is a tribute to all the professionals involved in this scheme and particularly the Council’s Building Control team. I am delighted that we have the skills and talents in Central Bedfordshire to deliver top quality projects such as this.”

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "Priory View offers a safe and secure home, a community of like-minded people, a social life on the doorstep and yet support and care when residents do need it. This is part of a bigger plan to make sure we have the right sort of housing available for older residents within Central Bedfordshire, most of whom want to live in their own homes for as long as possible."

LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said: “Our building excellence awards are an opportunity for the industry to celebrate innovation and good practice. Our winners demonstrate how positive working relationships with local council building control teams achieve high quality, sustainable buildings. Our awards are unique because they recognise how this cooperation improves building standards and professionalism across the industry.”

The Grand Finals of the LABC Building Excellence Awards took place on Friday 10 November 2017.  Over 800 building industry professionals including contractors, architects and engineers attended the celebration to find out which projects won across the 15 hotly contested categories.

Central Bedfordshire had also celebrated success in three other award categories at the LABC regional finals, with Creasey Park Drive in Dunstable being named Best Inclusive Building; Best Partnership with a Local Authority Building Control Team with Domestic Designs; and the LABC Residential Site Agent of the Year prize for Bloor Homes at Silsoe.

LABC is the member organisation representing local authority building control departments in England and Wales. Its membership includes over 3,000 professional surveyors and support technicians.  LABC promotes the design and construction of buildings that are safe, healthy, inclusive and environmentally efficient to comply with the Building Regulations.  LABC builds awareness of local authority building control amongst the public, developers, designers and contractors.  It also works with government, trade organisations, manufacturers, distributors, research establishments, test houses and professional institutions to support innovation in building.  For more information please visit the LABC website:

Picture (left to right):
Rob Burridge – LABC Warranty (Sponsor)
Richard Scott – LABC President
Colin Smart - Kyle Smart Architects
Chris Weir – Kyle Smart Architects
Ian Johnson – Housing Team
Samantha Holder – Building Control
Kim Dallen – Building Control
Andrew Davie – Assistant Director – Development Infrastructure
Gyles Brandreth – Guest Presenter