Housing association Karbon Homes has announced plans to invest in high quality new retirement living accommodation for older residents in Ponteland, Northumberland.
Karbon has been working closely with award winning architects JDDK to draw up the plans for the new £4m building which is intended to provide 34 apartments.
The plans for the building, designed to replace the existing Athol House on Callerton Lane have now been submitted to Northumberland County Council. Karbon has the support of Homes England in funding the costs of the project, if approved.
The proposed new development has been designed to occupy a similar footprint to the existing building, but elevated slightly above the current ground floor level to ensure flood safety, given the proximity of the River Pont, and moved slightly further from neighbouring properties to ensure no loss of privacy.
All Athol House residents were informed of the redevelopment plans in March 2018, and offered extensive support to ensure they were rehoused satisfactorily, and all residents were appropriately compensated for the disruption of moving house.
Karbon has also consulted extensively with the local community, parish and county councillors, before agreeing the scale and style of the new building. A consultation session was held in November to allow the architects to hear community concerns, and the plans have been adjusted accordingly.
One change made to the plans was to add more parking spaces, increasing the number from 17 to 20.
The existing Athol House building was built more than 35 years ago, with many small, bedsit-style flats, which do not meet modern standards – or residents’ aspirations.
The proposed new building would provide 34 good sized homes – 28 two bed apartments, 6 one bed apartments, compared to the 35 smaller homes in the old building.
The new building has been designed to encourage social interaction between the residents, and to offer them a sense of security.
The architects were asked to provide a development which meets local housing needs, and is also in keeping with the development ‘grain’ of the village, since the site sits just outside the Ponteland conservation area.
Zoey Hawthorne, assistant director of development delivery for Karbon Homes, said: “We’ve tried to put forward a development which meets the needs of the local community for high quality, affordable
“We have taken on board comments from the local community and made some adjustments to our original proposals to reflect their views.
“The building is intended to sit comfortably in this location, retaining mature trees around the site, and not being sited too close to neighbouring properties.”