Sheltered Housing lost in Dursley, Cam and Wotton

15/10/2015

SHELTERED housing in Dursley, Cam and Wotton-under-Edge could be lost following a unanimous vote by Stroud district councillors to bring sheltered properties across the district up to standard.

 

A review produced by independent consultants and commissioned by Stroud District Council earmarked Cambridge House in Dursley, Glebelands in Cam and Dryleaze Court in for redevelopment or disposal. While many are pleased with the council’s plans to improve their stock of sheltered homes, critics have attacked the scheme over the impact it will have on the elderly and vulnerable.
        The review, produced by Gloucestershire-based Ark Consultancy, found that 80 per cent of sheltered properties in the district were in a good condition, or had the potential to be so once renovated. These properties will see modernisation take place over the next two to three years. The other 20 per cent did not meet modern standards and are now set to be decommissioned in phases over the next 10 years.
        Chairwoman of the council’s housing committee Mattie Ross said: “This is good news for the future provision of homes for people aged 55 years old and over. Obviously implementing the changes will cause quite a bit of inconvenience to some of our current tenants. Some may even need to be rehoused, but we will be in close contact with them to minimise any disruption. Ultimately they will end up with better homes and hopefully the inconvenience will be worth it.”.
        Some residents living in homes marked for redevelopment of disposal, however, feel less than assured. Pauline Simpson, 76, lives in Dryleaze Court in Wotton with her husband. “The council are to be applauded if they are finally bringing eight years of sheltered housing reviews to a climax,” she said. “However, this comes at a cost. Five of the existing 29 schemes have been scheduled for redevelopment or disposal, and these sites are currently occupied by a large percentage of 80 to 90 year olds who are very vulnerable. They have already lived through the stress of previous reviews, which drastically cut services, and now this final thrust threatens their very homes, at a time when day to day living can be enough of a challenge without the threat of having to relocate elsewhere.”
        A spokesman for the council said that all the sites would be subject to early and ongoing consultation,“Following the comprehensive review of our sheltered housing stock, which assessed its condition, fitness for purpose and financial viability we are considering the current position for existing and future tenants in these properties,” he said. “Now that the housing committee has considered the report our next step will be to look at each site specifically to decide the best option for each location. At this time no decision has been made regarding specific sites other than the initial options cited in the report. All sites will be subject to early and ongoing consultation with affected tenants and local councillors.”
 
By Stuart Rust
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