Plans have been put forward by Andium Homes to demolish a 1970s flat block in St. Helier, which is considered to be in “poor condition”, to make way for new modern accommodation and a base for the island's older citizens.
The partnership between the States-owned social housing developer and charity Age Concern, who provide support and services for over 55-year-olds, was first announced in 2016 after Age Concern said their facilities at Windsor House are too small, and the old steep Victorian stairs are not suitable for the needs of their visitors.
If granted planning permission, the development project would replace 12 one-bedroom flats in the low rise development next to recently-refurbished Convent Court, with a new four-storey block with the ground floor allocated as a base for Age Concern Jersey.
The charity provides a lunch service for 28 people five days a week, but Age Concern Jersey Chairperson Senator Sarah Ferguson says they’ll be able to extend that service in the new facility across the road with a dining room that can fit between 50 to 60 people. She also said they will no longer have to rely on the church hall at St. Thomas’ Church for their activity events.
Pictured: Andium Homes have submitted plans for a new Age Concern facility with 21 social housing flats above for planning approval. (Andium Homes)
Senator Ferguson say the charity is “very excited” for the new development, which will provide “a real community centre in town” for everyone to use as they also run a transport service for people living outside of St. Helier.
As well as a new kitchen, meeting hall, activity rooms, offices and a dining room, visitors to Age Concern will also be able to enjoy the better weather with an outside seating area measuring 50 square meters enhanced with plants and stone paving, an option not available at their current base at Windsor House.
The new development will also house 18 new one-bedroom and three two-bedroom social housing flats, as well as six mobility scooter stores with charging points, to provide an integrated community shared by residents and users of the charity’s day centre.
Pictured: Age Concern Jersey want to move from their current base at Windsor House at Val Plaisant to a purpose built facility across the road. (Google Maps)
If planning permission is granted for the new development, which is expected to be given by the end of July, the building work could be completed by summer 2021.
Dominique Caunce from Andium Homes said: “We are pleased to have submitted the planning application for this exciting new scheme. The development, which will complement the refurbishment of the adjacent high rise building, will regenerate this area of Town and deliver 21 much needed new homes. If approved, it will also deliver a more appropriate facility for Age Concern and their members. This has been a great opportunity to work in partnership with Age Concern to deliver something which will benefit the wider community.”
She added that the 21 flats in the new development will be allocated to people in the "older age group in order to make the best use of the facilities and services which Age Concern offer."
Now the plans have been submitted for planning approval, Senator Ferguson said Age Concern will start working on launching a “serious” fundraising campaign to help fund the new development.
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