Specialist housing plan for over-55s

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PLANS to build a specialist housing scheme for older people in the centre of Chester-le-Street have been approved by the planning committee at Durham County Council.

The Elms, which will consist of 57 new homes comprising six two-bedroom self-contained bungalows and 51 apartments for over-55s, were approved at an area planning meeting yesterday.

When complete, the scheme will also include a range of communal residential and support spaces within the main block and facilities which can be used by residents and the wider community, including a beauty and treatment room, IT suite, internet cafe, laundry, community allotment and an office/exhibition space.

Housing firm Keepmoat has been appointed as the preferred developer for the scheme, which has also received £1.76million from the Department of Health’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund. Work on the development, south west of the town centre, is expected to start in February.

Coun Eddie Tomlinson, cabinet member for housing at Durham County Council, said: “We welcome this type of specialist housing, which is always very much appreciated by our older generation.”

The development is expected to be completed in spring 2015.