Mayor helps lay first brick at new housing scheme

Harpenden Town Mayor, Cllr Rosemary Farmer, attended a special ceremony yesterday to lay the first brick at a new Housing 21 affordable flexi-care housing scheme for older people.

Due for completion in July 2014, Lea Springs will provide 38 one and two bedroom apartments with options to rent or purchase on a shared ownership basis. The development will also include a dining area, activity room and hairdressing salon.

Siobhan Moore, Head of Programme Delivery for Housing 21 said: “We are delighted to see the continuing progress at Lea Springs, and look forward to completion of the scheme which will provide excellent flexi-care accommodation for the Harpenden area. Providing flexi-care means that residents can continue to enjoy independent living with tailored care and support services.”

Joining Cllr Rosemary Fuller was Cllr Mary Maynard, Harpenden Town Deputy Mayor and Cllr Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing with St Albans City and District Council. Representatives of Housing 21 and Willmott Dixon, who are building the scheme, also celebrated the start of the development.

The scheme is being developed in a partnership between Housing 21 and St Albans City and District Council and was previously home to the Council’s Leacroft sheltered housing scheme.

Councillor Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at the District Council, said: “This project is part of a wider strategy to redevelop our sheltered housing in the District and to make the best possible use of our housing stock.”

Charlie Scherer, Chief Executive Officer for Willmott Dixon stated; “We are very excited about this new project with Housing 21, which will add to our already extensive Care portfolio. The flexi-care solution has come about to meet the needs of people aged 55+ that may require personal care or just preparing for the future. The flats are self-contained with shared communal space giving the same sense as living independently. More recent research has shown this to be the preferred option.”

“Our mission is – to provide exceptional homes and environments for the older generations to thrive in and let them continue to enjoy an active and independent lifestyle, whilst at the same time helping them to create a community they can depend on, if ever they need too.”

Designed to meet the needs of people aged 55 and over, Lea Spring’s one and two bedroom apartments will have fully fitted kitchens and level access showers. Residents will benefit from a secure door entry system with intercom to every apartment, a court manager service and an emergency call system.

The District Council will be able to nominate suitable applicants from its housing register to live in the rented accommodation and further information can be obtained by contacting the Housing Options team on (01727) 819277.

Further information on the shared ownership apartments can be obtained from Housing 21 on 0345 608 4021 or by email to