New flats for people with learning disabilities could be built on the site of former Portsmouth care home

A MULTIMILLION-pound Portsmouth development could give adults with learning disabilities the chance to live independently.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 11:49 am
Longdean Lodge in Paulsgrove, which was demolished in 2015

Proposals for new supported living will offer 13 flats for 28 residents on the site of the former dementia home Longdean Lodge in Paulsgrove, which was demolished in 2015.

If approved at a housing meeting next week, the properties would comprise five four-bed shared flats and eight one-bed flats at a cost of £6.6m to Portsmouth City Council.

It is thought the development would bring savings of up to £325,000 a year following the decommissioning of two other adult learning residential care homes in the city that are 'at the end of their lives'.

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The council's head of housing, Councillor Darren Sanders, said: 'Providing supported housing in Portsmouth remains one of our top priorities here at Portsmouth City Council as it will benefit those who truly need it.

'The former Paulsgrove site is currently unused and the design plans put forward are bespoke to the client group moving in.'

For Aimee Stewart, a health team leader at Hampshire learning disability charity Chaos Support, the new homes would be 'hugely important'. She said:  'In total we have about 80 service users but 20 of them are ready for supported living. Some of them have challenging behaviour and their parents are struggling with looking after them. They can't cope.

'There are a few supported living sites in the area but they are all quite busy.

'Of our service users only about two or three are in supported living. We do have a small respite hotel with four of five bedrooms but it's always fully booked.

'It's so important that they will be able to go off on their own and live more independently.'

Chief executive of the Minstead Trust, Madeleine Durie, added: 'We welcome the council’s proposal to build purpose-built flats for people with learning disabilities.

'It can be very difficult for adults with learning disabilities to find suitable homes at affordable prices with the right set up to enable them to also receive the appropriate care.

'People with learning disabilities can be some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and enabling them to live as independently as possible in good quality homes is a positive step forward.'

If approved the homes will be ready for use by November 2021.

Names of the homes that will be decomissioned have not been revealed by the council.

The decision will be made at a housing cabinet meeting on February 25.