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Major step forward for Guildford extra care housing plans

Plans to provide 100 per cent affordable extra care housing on a disused site in Guildford have moved a major step forward with the selection of a consortium of partners to build and manage the scheme.

Pond Meadow Ltd and their selected housing manager, Pinnacle Group, will manage the facilities enabling residents to live independently for longer and enjoy personalised care.

With extra care housing, older people benefit from the privacy and independence of their own homes and the reassurance that care and support are on hand if needed. They can also enjoy the social benefits of communal and accessible spaces which welcome visitors and the wider local community.

Around sixty extra care apartments are set to be provided in Westborough on the former site of Pond Meadow School, subject to planning approval. Further information about the proposals can be found online at pondmeadow.co.uk and will be available at a community drop-in event. If you are interested in learning more about the plans, please do drop in:

Date & time: Please check https://pondmeadow.co.uk/ for details

Location: The Hive, Park Barn Drive GU2 8EN

*This event is instead of the drop-in which was scheduled for Tuesday 19th July and is no longer taking place due to the extreme heatwave warning.*

The plans form part of the county council’s wider ambition to provide 725 affordable homes in extra care developments, at locations around the county by 2030.

In delivering the Guildford scheme, Pond Meadow Ltd aims to maximise social impact through a long-term affordable housing partnership with the county council. Residents would be nominated for apartments based on their needs. Care services would be procured separately, prior to the scheme opening, and would be provided by a regulated care provider.

Guildford Borough Council agreed last year to change the use of the land to the county council, in a huge boost for the extra care scheme.

Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Pond Meadow Ltd to bring this important project to fruition.

“Extra care housing is central to our aim of enabling people to lead independent lives for as long as possible in their own homes and communities. Modernising care and improving choice in this way will help reduce the need for institutional forms of care.

“This is intended to be the first in a series of developments around the county, with several other schemes in the pipeline. It’s all helping towards our ultimate ambition, that no one is left behind.”

Mrs Mooney added: “We also warmly welcome Guildford’s support for this scheme which will bring significant benefits to the local community.”

Andy Cox, Director of Pond Meadow Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Surrey County Council in Guilford at the vanguard of this exciting pipeline. We will be providing affordable apartments with a range of care alternatives to Surrey residents. We are focused on maximising social value and improving outcomes within the local community.”

The previous land covenant for the Pond Meadow site stated that the land must be used for mental health services, but due to the community benefits of the new development, Guildford Borough Council agreed to amend the restriction.

Deputy Leader of Guildford Borough Council and Lead Councillor for Community and Housing, Cllr Julia McShane said: “We were delighted to be able to work together on this project with Surrey County Council for the benefit of our residents.    

“The Pond Meadow extra care housing scheme aligns with our priorities. Subject to securing planning permission it will provide a broader range of more affordable homes that people need. It will support older, more vulnerable, and less advantaged members of our community. 

“The scheme also complements our decision to invest in our own housing stock.”  

Plans for the Pond Meadow extra care housing scheme are expected to comprise a mix of one and two-bedroom affordable self-contained apartments.

The homes are expected to include the following features:

  • accessible layout without barriers to movement
  • each apartment designed with the residents in mind
  • full height windows with access to outdoor space
  • views over playing fields or garden
  • assistive technology as needed

The wider development is expected to feature:

  • communal dining space at the front of the development
  • a social hub made up of communal facilities
  • bright and light feel throughout
  • “meet and greet” area for residents and staff
  • garden to contain growing areas, and to include complementary facilities for residents e.g. outdoor exercise and secure areas

More information about the future of extra care housing in Surrey including a video showing how schemes could look can be found here.

ENDS

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