Retirement village plan for Sunderland’s ageing population

APARTMENT POTENTIAL: How the new apartments could look as part of the retirement village in Southwick under plans by Housing 21.
APARTMENT POTENTIAL: How the new apartments could look as part of the retirement village in Southwick under plans by Housing 21.
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A RETIREMENT village could be created to meet the needs of Wearside’s ageing population.

Landlord Housing 21 has put in plans for 104 apartments and 30 bungalows on the corner of Faber Road and Carley Hill Road, in Southwick, which will take in a section of land where Hahnemann Court once stood.

Christine Shattock, Labour Southwick''Election 2011

Christine Shattock, Labour Southwick''Election 2011

The firm has said the development, which would also include a convenience store, hair salon, and restaurant open to non-residents, will help meet the need for homes which offer extra care to the elderly.

Based on figures from Sunderland City Council, it is expecting to see a rise in over 65s to 59,500 by 2025, up from 38,700 in 1981 to 45,500 in 2005.

The oldest group, aged from 85, is predicted to almost double, from 4,100 to 8,000, with a 40 per cent increase expected in the number of older people with dementia by 2025.

As the council – like many others – has decided it will offer care to people in their own homes for longer with packages tailored to their needs, sparking a greater demand for suitable housing, with between 250 and 270 apartments needed each year for the next five years.

The properties, which developers have said will not form a care home, will give residents their own front door, with the apartments and bungalows to be designed with people who have high-care needs including dementia, physical disabilities, mobility difficulties, sensory issues and anxiety in mind, with each to be wheelchair accessible.

Twenty of the apartments would have one bedroom and the others two bedrooms, with the bungalows to also have two bedrooms.

Some of the homes will be available to buy and others to be rented at affordable rates agreed with the council, with lounges, treatment rooms, office space for staff, an electric buggy and charging room, laundry room, guest suites and gardens with seats also included in the plan.

The bungalows would have their own private outside area and parking spaces also feature.

Housing 21’s application states: “The scheme with its facilities and services will become the heart of the community and people with a range of needs across all ages will be able to take advantage of the benefits of the scheme.

“The development will enhance the social life of those living in and around the scheme.

“Indeed, the communal areas are open to use by the public in addition to the elderly community within the area.”

The plans have been submitted to the council, but a decision is yet to be made.

Ward councillor Christine Shattock has told planners she has no objection to the proposals and “will be pleased to see this going ahead.”

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