A major landmark in Ashford Borough Council’s multi-million-pound modernisation plan for its sheltered housing schemes has seen the re-opening of the £7.5m Danemore scheme in Tenterden.
Located at Beechy Path and a short walk from the town centre, the new-look Danemore provides 34 homes for affordable rent for older people, together with four chalet bungalows which will be sold on the open market.
Modelled on the multi-award-winning Farrow Court scheme developed by the council in south Ashford, Danemore has 25 one bedroom and nine two-bedroom apartments, built to a high quality that are care ready.
“The first tenants have moved in and I’m delighted to say that we are already seeing a really happy community atmosphere being generated there,” said Sharon Williams, Head of Housing at Ashford Borough Council.
The first people to call Danemore home are enjoying a range of high-quality facilities. There is a large cosy communal lounge and kitchen, laundry room, guest suite, buggy store and cycle racks. A treatment room provides hair dressing, nail bar and podiatrist and chiropodist massage chair plus foot spa.
A real community feel is fostered by the inclusion of shared facilities, including ‘hubs’ or sub lounges in addition to a main communal lounge located on the ground floor. The scheme has been designed to maximise natural daylight in each home and through the many shared spaces.
Just as much care and thought has gone into designing exterior spaces at Danemore. The traditionally built carbon friendly flats incorporate a large area of green roofing, with each flat benefiting from a winter garden balcony protected by a glazed screen. There are architect landscaped designed garden spaces with potting shed and raised beds for residents to use.
Security and connectivity are high priorities at Danemore – the scheme has CCTV monitored both on and off site, a video door entry system, a sprinkler system fitted in every apartment, the council-controlled Lifeline system installed and free WiFi in the lounge, with Freeview and Freesat also available in each of the 34 apartments. A manager is available to ensure the smooth running of the scheme, while ABC’s own Handyman service is able to help with maintenance work.
Danemore is designed to be dementia-friendly throughout, taking into account colour schemes, light, corridor lengths, patterns and memory shelves.
The scheme has been devised in recognition of the need to make special provision for the needs of an ageing population – by 2026 it is anticipated that around 40% of the residents within the Ashford borough will be aged over 50.
Danemore costs around £7.5m, paid for through the council’s housing revenue account and grant funding from Homes England.
Sharon Williams said: “Ashford Borough Council has a strong track record of taking an innovative approach to delivering quality accommodation that meets the needs of our residents. Our approach to the health and housing agenda is leading the way and gives people the chance to live independently, providing a range of cost, social and health benefits.
“Farrow Court was the first project in our proactive approach to sheltered scheme remodelling and it has set the bar high. With the addition of Danemore and other schemes in the pipeline, we are making real progress in tackling the needs of an ageing population and helping to reduce social isolation.”
The old Danemore sheltered housing scheme was demolished in 2017, with the new facility built by Westridge Construction Ltd, with architects PRP also involved.