New care flats to help elderly live independently

CQC Press Office / Joe D Miles

CQC Press Office / Joe D Miles

Planning permission has been secured from Lewisham council for 60 new “extra care” flats to be built in Beckenham Hill.

Phoenix Community Housing, a not-for-profit resident-led housing association established in 2007, won approval from Lewisham Council on Thursday January 15 to build its first ever residential development.

The flats will help older members of the community to live a more independent lifestyle.

Phoenix Chief Executive Jim Ripley said: “We’re delighted that we will now be able to embark on building our first residential development. There’s a severe shortage of housing in Lewisham as across the country and particularly housing for older people.

“By 2030 almost 30 per cent of Britain’s population will be over 60. We have to prepare for the future and offer more homes tailored to the wishes and needs of older people.

“This new development at Hazelhurst Court will provide a good quality home to dozens of residents and they’ll have the comfort of knowing support is available if their needs change.

“We are actively looking at other underused land in our area as possible sites for new development, to offer more individuals and families better housing and a better future”.

The proposed development comprises of the demolition of an existing community building at Hazelhurst Court and the erection of two buildings within the grounds, near to Beckenham Hill station.

London and Manchester-based urban architects Levitt Bernstein will be responsible for the design of the scheme, having provided buildings for other social care charities, such as Jewish Care, elsewhere in London.

The flats will accommodate up to 122 additional persons. They will provide 58 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom flats for older people, including the provision of six wheelchair units and shared communal areas.

According to the association’s website, facilities at Hazelhurst Court will include a catering kitchen, large communal lounge and a dining area amongst other additional services for elderly residents.

Concerns were raised in council meetings over changes that the development could bring to the area, including expansions in local population, which will increase demand for local health services.

Lewisham Council addressed these concerns by saying they will be “ensuring that the potential health impacts of development are identified and addressed at an early stage in the planning process”.

They also plan to “support the Lewisham University Hospital, Health centres and GP surgeries”.

Phoenix Community Housing says: “We are now exploring other opportunities to create new homes in south Lewisham and the surrounding area”.

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