The Heritage Society has been pressing Central Bedfordshire Council for some years to tell us what they were planning to do with the Red House when the last housing tenant vacated the building.
In 2016 Central Bedfordshire Council was granted planning permission to build All Saints View, an independent living scheme for people aged 55 and over. It will include 168 one and two bedroom apartments for rent, shared ownership and outright purchase. The planning permission included listed building consent to renovate the Red House. This has been completed. Planning also made a change of use from housing to commercial.
The Planning Application contained a Design and Access Statement which can be viewed bi clicking the link below:
LE18001: THE RED HOUSE, HOUGHTON REGIS, LU5 5DY – REFURBISHMENT WORKS FOR CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE COUNCIL 2018
Albion Archaeology ‘Historic Building Assessment Report (Reference: C02821-216-147 Version 1)’ identifies the ‘Heritage Values’ of the building as follows:
The primary range of the building dates from the 17th century. Although subject to later alterations, the original plan from this period remains largely intact and readable. It also retains historic building fabric with elements of the timber frame in the walls and ceilings being visible inside the building.
Changes made to the house during the 18th century are evident in the façade, which was replaced in brick with sash windows. It is quite likely that other alterations would have been made at this time but no evidence remains for this.
The most significant 19th century feature of the building is the outbuilding that forms the present southern range. Apart from its plan form and much- altered openings, nothing remains to indicate its original internal layout and function. The flint and brick construction is typical of the late 19th century when its use was revived during the vernacular revival.
A single storey outshot would have stood at the rear of the building and is indicated in the continuation of the brickwork in the north-west elevation. However, later alteration and extension has removed most of the historic fabric in this part of the building.
Historical Illustrative Value:
The earliest surviving parts of the building are an example of a type of house that developed during this period. It has a central fireplace and similar-sized bays to either side, producing a near symmetrical plan. The clasped purlin roof over the primary range appears to form part of its 17th century construction and is an interesting example partly due to its unusually steep pitch. The re-fronting of the house in brick during the 18th century is an example of how buildings were updated in accordance with the aesthetic tastes of the period.
Historical Associative Value:
It is clear from the design of the building with 2½ stories and its high roof line that it would have been a building of some standing when it was built.
The Red House forms a very significant element in the character and aesthetic value of the historic village green. It is the only surviving historic building on this side of the Green. The front of the building survives largely intact with the mid-20th-century porch respecting the character of the building.