Earth moves for new Sunderland housing scheme

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday 15 August to mark the start of work on a £16 million extra care housing scheme for older people in Sunderland.

Invited guests from Housing 21, Sunderland City Council and Keepmoat gathered at the site of Dovecote Meadow in Fordfield Road on Ford Estate to celebrate the start of construction on the site of the former Felstead School.

Victoria Barclay, Regional Operations Director for Housing 21 said: “It’s wonderful to see this exciting development getting underway. For Housing 21 it will be the fourth extra care housing scheme that we’ve delivered within this successful partnership in Sunderland and the biggest of all our housing schemes nationally.”

Dovecote Meadow will provide 175 self contained one and two bedroom apartments, designed to enable people to plan for older living and to live independently for longer in their own home.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the council’s Health, Housing and Adult Services portfolio, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with both Housing 21 and Keepmoat.

“This partnership approach to providing older people with the opportunity to continue living independently has already proved a great success in previous extra care developments in the city.

“I am sure Dovecote Meadow will prove to be just as successful.”

The scheme will have options for either affordable rent or flexible purchase options and provide communal facilities including a restaurant, hairdressing salon, care shop, wellbeing suite and convenience store.

David Ward, Regional Managing Director of Keepmoat North East & Scotland, added: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Housing 21 to develop Dovecote Meadow.

“Through our developments in the city, we are providing independent, safe and secure housing for older people with a difference. We recognise that age should not be a barrier to the way people live their lives and our schemes reflect this – they are real alternatives to the more traditional approaches to housing for older people.”

Extra care housing enables residents to enjoy independent living with the security of on-site care staff. The scheme is being delivered as part of Housing 21’s Approved Development Programme with the Homes and Communities Agency.