Fareham Borough Council to spend millions on homes for elderly people

A map from the planning application

Fears grow that housebuilders may pounce on land while Fareham council draws up planning rules

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A MULTI-MILLION pound deal will see 36 sheltered homes built in Fareham.

The contract to build flats on the site of the former Coldeast Hospital in Sarisbury Green was given to developer Drew Smith Limited.

Fareham Borough Council has set aside £5.5m for the project from its housing revenue account, partly funded by a £720,000 grant from the Homes & Communities Agency.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘We’ve got a significantly ageing population in Fareham and we have got a statistically higher number of 85 year olds than elsewhere in the country.

‘Therefore we need to provide affordable housing for this elderly population.’

Planning permission was given for the site in April for 11 two-bedroom flats and 25 one-bedroom flats.

All will have their own balcony or patio, be wheelchair-accessible and cater for a wide range of support needs.

There will be a communal lounge, activity room, mobility scooter and hair salon.

The development will be built on the site of the former Coldeast Hospital and is part of a major redevelopment there, including a housing estate, cemetery and leisure centre.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘We do have a need for sheltered housing and this seems to be the ideal location as always was a centre of care.’

Work will start in June and is expected to finish in autumn 2016.

Brian Bayford, executive member for housing on the council, said the scheme was only the second of its kind in three decades.

He said: ‘We’re starting to build a number of affordable properties in Fareham and for the first time in 25 years we’re building our own sheltered housing,

‘This is the second recent sheltered housing scheme in Fareham and we’re looking at a number of other sites.

‘We hope to have built an extra 500 houses between now and 2017.’

The council is currently building Collingwood Court, on the site of the former Collingwood House, off Stow Crescent in Fareham.

This £5m programme has seen 40 apartments built for people aged 55 or over and is nearing completion.

Once this project is completed, work will start on the homes at the Coldeast site.