Construction has commenced on the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) residential site in Redhill.
The scheme will provide RNIB with specialised accommodation for up to 50 residents as well as 77 luxury new homes for sale on the open market. The completed development will include the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Tudor House and Garden Cottage. At the heart of the scheme is a Sensory Trail which uses sounds, smells and textures to aid navigation around the site.
Planning permission for the redevelopment was granted in November 2015 and after a complex demolition and infrastructure programme, the first RNIB accommodation and private homes are now under construction.
The first specialised accommodation is expected to be completed by Spring 2019, along with the occupation of the first open market homes.
Royal Hill Park has a rich philanthropic and historical past, making it a vital location for heritage and social care, and has a record of almost 200 years of charitable services. The scheme will preserve both the original Tudor-style housing and the natural topography of the area, while revamping the development with high-quality facilities for all residents. This carefully crafted combination of tradition and contemporary design will help stimulate a vibrant and inclusive community.
Iain McPherson, Managing Director of Countryside’s New Homes & Communities South Region, says: “We are proud to be working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) on redeveloping their Redhill site. Central to the new site are innovations such as the Sensory Trail, which highlights the role that hearing, touch and smell can play in assisting people with sight loss to navigate around the site. We hope that this will also inspire other property developers to pursue more partnerships in the charity sector that benefit social care and help connect local communities”.
Keith Valentine, RNIB Director of Development, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Countryside on the Redhill redevelopment. It is a great example of how accessibility and inclusion can be, and should be, part of the design process right from the start. We are excited to be part of the creation of a development that encourages inclusion and showcases how simple changes to housing can make a difference to the quality of life for people with a wider range of disabilities.”