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Second Birmingham Village Gets Planning

29 April 2010

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's planning application to develop an affordable city retirement village in Newtown, as part of the areas regeneration plans, was passed by the City's Planning Committee today, 29th April 2010.

Impression

In a partnership between ExtraCare and Birmingham City Council, the Village is to be built on a 6.5 acre site off Pannel Croft, in Newtown, with construction underway by winter 2010 for completion by spring 2013.

Plans show 180 apartments (54 - 79sqm in size) each with their own living room, one or two bedrooms, kitchen and shower room. A significant number of properties will have their own balcony, many overlooking an internal courtyard with landscaped garden areas and accessible walkways.

Proposed facilities in the Village Centre are to include: a restaurant, café bar, shop, village hall, worship room, fitness suite, hairdressing and beauty salon, woodwork room, I.T. suite, library, greenhouse and craft room,

The construction cost is £24m; £3.2m has already been made available by The Department of Health and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust is seeking further funding from Urban Living and The Homes and Communities Agency. The ExtraCare Charitable Trust Birmingham Smile Appeal is expected to provide £2m for communal facilities in the Village Centre.

Up to a third of the 250-plus village residents could have significant care needs which will be assessed and supported by a qualified team of up to 80 staff, employed locally by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust. The Village Well-being Centre will deliver the Charity's award-winning preventative healthcare programme, whilst the Enriched Opportunities Suite can support those residents who might develop dementia in their later years.

Eligibility to apply for a place in the Village will be open to City residents (aged 55 to 95-plus) with 80% of homes offered for affordable rent and the remaining 20% available on a part-purchase or full-purchase basis. ExtraCare's Specialist Benefits Team is to offer free, confidential advice to every person considering residency in the Village.

In developing the Newtown Village, the partnership's ambition is to provide a new kind of affordable retirement living, which moves away from traditional residential care. It will offer older people well-appointed homes, safety and care support in a sociable environment, which fosters independence and well-being. Keen to build strong community links, the Village facilities will be accessible as an affordable resource to local older people, their families and volunteers representing all age groups.

The scheme is the second of the partnership's five proposed Birmingham retirement villages and follows this month's opening of New Oscott Village. The Village has received over 1000 applications for its 260 homes. Proposals for a third village, off Hagley Road, are expected to be submitted for planning shortly and follow a public consultation day in January where 833 households registered their interest in the scheme.

Councillor John Lines, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Housing,
comments: "This Village will provide much-needed new homes for our older people in Newtown, the second of five villages planned for the city. The Village will complement the wider community regeneration taking place in the area providing new jobs for local people and offering a real opportunity to strengthen the existing community by opening up the Village's facilities to other local older residents."

Development Director for The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Mark Curran, comments: "We believe that this Village will bring significant benefits to Newtown in terms of affordable, high-quality housing and care for the community's older people. It will also enable local older people to further develop their social links with the surrounding community. It will act as a hub for entertainment and activity which can be shared with visiting families and friends."

Fundraising

Newtown Village Centre will provide a social hub for local older people - especially those who suffer isolation or have limited means.

This Village Centre can only be paid for through ExtraCare's £10m Smile Appeal - an appeal which will eventually fund five ExtraCare Village Centres, regenerating older peoples' involvement in community life across the City.

To support the Smile Appeal, phone Elaine Clarke on 01952 882557 (M: 0772 055 3653) or email elaine.clarke@extracare.org.uk