Building a Community

"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us."

Winston Churchill

Catesby Estates believes the ability to create new communities is down to great design and delivering well considered buildings, streets and facilities that residents really need. It is our responsibility to work closely with local stakeholders to sure we deliver new sustainable developments that will thrive for years to come.

Our commitment to early delivery of open spaces and a wide range of community facilities, established early in the project will help build a sense of community.

Community Building

Situated in a prominent location within the local centre, would act as a hub for the Marston Thrift community. Uses for the community building include: community events and meetings, indoor sports, a small gym, a library, and a café.

It is envisaged that the building would incorporate a main hall suitable for larger events and parking that would be shared with other uses within the local centre.

Local Centre

Will include a small supermarket, as well as a number of smaller retail units (e.g. a hairdressers or takeaway). It is anticipated that the supermarket and retail units would be located within the same building, and that apartments would be provided above the retail units in order to help create a compact and well-defined local centre, ensuring that activity is generated there throughout the day.

Any retail provision within the local centre would be located to ensure that it is easily accessible to Marston Thrift residents and benefits from passing trade (e.g. by providing a presence on Beancroft Road).

Pub/Restaurant and Café

The café would be located at the heart of the local centre (potentially within the retail building or community building) and ideally adjacent to a small public open space or square to allow a generous area of outdoor seating.

The pub/restaurant would also include a garden and/or outdoor seating.

Meet the Neighbours

Why not take the dog for stroll and stop off at the community café at the heart of the development for a coffee and cake.  Marston Thrift will blend a rural setting, with convenient facilities and a community spirit.

The high quantity and quality of green infrastructure / open space will ensure the new village is well integrated into the local landscape, whilst contributing to the overall objective of increasing woodland coverage within the Forest of Marston Vale.

Contributing to the overall objective of increasing woodland coverage within the Forest of Marston Vale, Marston Thrift will deliver at least 30% new hedgerow, tree and woodland planting within the site boundary

The creation of a new community woodland, delivered in partnership with the Forest of Marston Vale Trust, would directly support the aims and ambitions of the Trust, a charity promoting rural regeneration through new woodland planting in the Vale.

The Green Infrastructure Strategy for the Mid Bedfordshire area also promotes the creation of a new green infrastructure corridor along the northern edge of the site, occupying the rising ground between the Marston Vale and Greensand Ridge. The layout of the development will help deliver this objective through a combination of new planting and open spaces.

School Run

You’ll never be late for the school run again with two new lower schools and a middle school located at the heart of this new community.

The pedestrian routes and cycleways will make getting to school on foot or bike a breeze, and there will also be designated zones for easy drop off and pick up, if you do need to use the car.


Marston Thrift will be a perfect picture of health with a host of facilities for play, leisure and just plain relaxing.

You will be able to swing, slide, climb and ride to your hearts content. Pedestrian and cycle routes meander through the site, with informal sports pitches and play areas. Whether you run, cycle or prefer a more leisurely stroll, Marston Thrift is full of open space and footpaths for you to stretch your legs.

Our proposals include a single consolidated area of formal recreational space/pitches on the northern edge of the site, adjacent to the proposed allotments and the existing Public Right of Way. The use of the pitches will be determined at the outline planning application stage, but it is understood from CBC that these are most likely to be for football and 3G pitches. Consideration will be given to the provision of a clubhouse and changing rooms, with these ideally located close to the proposed residential development and existing Public Right of Way to maximise accessibility and minimise the extent of built development.

A range of combined amenity and play spaces will be provided throughout the development, and it is understood from discussions with CBC that the preference is for a smaller number of consolidated spaces as shown. The locations shown would ensure that all residents have good accessibility to an amenity space / children’s play area, and that each space would benefit from high levels of natural surveillance.

The facilities to be provided in these spaces will include a MUGA (multi-use games area), as well as NEAPs (Neighbourhood Equipped Areas for Play) and LEAPs (Local Equipped Areas for Play), the number of which will be determined at outline application stage.

It is envisaged that the MUGA would include youth provision and be located in a more central location (e.g. in the open space shown adjacent to the local centre).