New homes ‘topped out’ in Sunderland

A key milestone has been reached in the construction of a new extra care housing scheme in Sunderland. A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held last week to place the final tile on the roof of Dovecote Meadow on Fordfield Road on Ford Estate.

The celebration at the £16 million development for older people was marked by representatives of Housing 21, Sunderland City Council and Keepmoat.

The first two phases of Dovecote Meadow will provide 131 self contained one and two bedroom apartments, as well as community space which includes a restaurant, hairdressing salon, care shop, wellbeing suite and convenience store. Apartments are available either for affordable rent or through flexible purchase options. The final phase, providing a further 44 one and two bedroom apartments, including some dementia specialist accommodation, is due to start on site soon and will complete in the Spring of 2015.

Bruce Moore, Interim Chief Executive for Housing 21 said: “I’m delighted to see Dovecote Meadow taking shape. This scheme will provide high quality apartments designed for independent living, alongside a range of on-site facilities which will be an asset to residents and the wider local community.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services at Sunderland City Council added: “Extra care housing is making a significant difference to how older people live in the city. It is enabling people to live in their own home independently and within the community for longer. It provides a real choice for those who want to downsize, prepare for retirement or who have a housing, care or support need. Dovecote Meadow is a fantastic development and a credit to all partners involved.”

The scheme is the fifth extra care scheme to be developed in Sunderland as part of the City Council’s Extra Care Housing Programme.

The first residents are expected to move into Dovecote Meadow in the Spring of 2014. The development will also bring significant local employment opportunities.

Apartments at the scheme are spacious with fully fitted kitchens and level access shower rooms. Residents will benefit from a secure door entry system with intercom to every apartment, a court manager service and an emergency call system.

Keepmoat Regeneration Regional Director (Northern) David Ward said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Housing 21 to deliver this innovative and exciting development which will provide independent, safe and secure housing for older people.

“At Keepmoat 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.”

The scheme is being delivered as part of Housing 21’s Approved Development Programme with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Further information on the rental apartments or employment opportunities can be obtained from Maureen Hall, Services Team Manager on 0370 192 4420 / 07715 085128, email

Sales enquiries should go to 0191 567 3655, email