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Consultation set to begin on 52 new 'assisted living' care homes in Thurston

A consultation is set to begin on plans for 52 new 'assisted living' care homes.

Housing 21, a not-for-profit housing association, is proposing to build a new affordable housing scheme on land south of Heath Road in Thurston, Suffolk, consisting of 40 apartments and 12 bungalows for older people.

The Extra Care development, in partnership with landowner Thurston Relief in Need Charity, is planned to address a 'shortage of specialist housing for older people' identified in the Thurston Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Survey and design work has begun and full plans are being presented to members of the local community, giving an opportunity to learn more about the scheme, ask questions and make comments.

The consultation begins next week.
The consultation begins next week.

The public consultation event will run from April 26 to May 10, virtually, as well as with display boards in Thurston Library.

The consultation website can also be accessed from Monday. April 26 at: www.housing21-thurston.consultationonline.co.uk

All properties in the scheme – designed by architect WWA Studios – will be affordable, either for social rent or shared ownership.

Extra care, also known as assisted living, offers a greater level of independence for residents.

There will not be any market housing built on the site.

The scheme is specifically designed for older people, allowing residents to live independently while at the same time having care and support close at hand if required.

Residents will have their own self-contained homes and there will be Housing 21 care staff on site 24 hours a day.

The field south of Heath Road is owned by Thurston Relief in Need Charity. A part of the field measuring 3.4 acres has been made available to Housing 21 in order to bring forward a scheme that will benefit the local community.

Barbara Morris, secretary of Thurston Relief in Need Charity, said: “Our long-established aim is to support the needy of the parish.

"The charity trustees have agreed that our land at Heath Road could be better used to support the residents of Thurston, as the area has been designated as a potential development area within the parish.

"Since there is considerable new housing development in the parish, the Trustees have agreed not to develop the area with open market housing, but to provide community facilities for the needs of the local population.

The Thurston Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2019, specifically mentions the need to provide specialist housing and care facilities for older people in Thurston.

“The Charity trustees felt that their land could be used to support this need and consequently are pleased to have been working closely with Housing 21 to provide an Extra Care facility on the Charity’s land at Heath Road.”

In addition to the 52 apartments and bungalows, the development will provide a range of communal spaces including a residents’ lounge, a bistro café, a hair salon, an assisted bathroom and a guest suite. The café and hair salon will be open for use by members of the community in Thurston.

The design will feature landscaped areas around the buildings and care will be taken to protect natural features including the hedges and trees that border the site.

Peter Smith, Property Development Manager at Housing 21, said: “We are excited by this high-quality Extra Care scheme which will be Housing 21’s sixth in Suffolk.

"Extra Care living offers older people the opportunity to live in their own homes, while having access to on-site care if and when needed. This helps people to

retain their independence while having a care team close at hand.

"The site on Heath Road is well-placed to serve the people of Thurston and beyond."

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