A proposed dementia care village near Haverhill is just be the start of an ambitious programme by its creators
An aspiration to create a UK-first dementia care village just outside Haverhill is just the start of an ambitious journey being undertaken by the company behind the scheme.
As revealed in the Echo on March 18, CARE Ltd, whose office is in Haverhill, has applied to West Suffolk Council for planning permission to build a dementia care village at Little Court, off the A143, in Little Wratting.
Based on the Hogeweyk concept pioneered in the Netherlands, it would be home to 120 people with advanced dementia, who would live in groups in six apartments and have their own amenities, such as a shop, pub, restaurant and community hall.
CARE is made up of three directors, Haverhill-based architect Phil Jordan, Stuart Harris and Graham Sizer, who now lives in the north of England but is from Haverhill (where his parents still live), while Philip Scott is a non-executive director.
Mr Harris explained that the initial hopes for Little Court is just the beginning for CARE.
He said: “The grand plan is quite ambitious. By the end of this decade we hope to have six or maybe seven of these (in the UK).
“Our rate of activity has suddenly gone from formative stages where it wasn’t very tangible to something very rapid.”
CARE, added Mr Harris, hopes to exchange contracts soon on a second site, just outside Norwich, and is looking at two sites on the outskirts of Cambridge, another in Rutland and further sites in Essex, Kent, Herts and Oxfordshire.
Mr Harris added: “The way we see this mapping out is that Papworth is famous for its heart hospital, Bourn (Hall) is famous for its fertility clinic and Haverhill, we want people to be able to recognise that it’s something rather special in terms of pioneering dementia care.”
A statement of need commissioned by CARE has found that, for example, the number of people living with dementia within a 20 minute drive of Little Court by 2028 is projected to be 8,000, with 1,870 of those living within a ten minute drive of the site.
Mr Harris added: “Even with our ambitious programme we are not going to scratch the surface of the dementia problem.
“With an ageing population the number of people over the age of 85 is going to more than double over the next 15 years and dementia is a component of that ageing process so all the actual predictions lead to a really massive task for us to care for people.”