Ceremony to mark sheltered accommodation redevelopment project in Newport

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:40 12 August 2016

Councillor Julie Redfearn (centre) with representatives from UDC, Newport Parish Council, Lovell and current residents

Councillor Julie Redfearn (centre) with representatives from UDC, Newport Parish Council, Lovell and current residents

Archant

A ceremony to officially mark the start of construction work on a sheltered accommodation scheme was held in Newport on Thursday (August 4).

The redevelopment project at Reynolds Court, Gaces Acre, will see buildings demolished and rebuilt as a larger complex of 41 flats, guest suite and communal facilities.

The development, part-funded by a substantial grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, will be carried out in two phases, with residents at the sheltered housing facility remaining on-site during the work.

Completion of the first phase is earmarked for March 2017, when residents will be transferred to the new facility while the current building housing them is demolished.

The second phase is due for completion in September 2018.

Councillors from Uttlesford District Council (UDC), Newport Parish Council, representatives from Lovell Construction and residents attended the ceremony.

Julie Redfearn, UDC’s cabinet member for housing and economic development, and Simon Medler, regional director for Lovell in East Anglia, gave speeches before food and drinks, including an impressive cake designed as the development, were enjoyed by guests.

Councillor Redfearn said: “Reynolds Court is a major project for UDC and, although the existing tenants like the location, the outdated 1970s accommodation has been hard to let for many years, annually losing us income.

“After much consultation, especially with tenants, it was agreed that the new-build was the best way forward.

“Once completed, the scheme will have 41 flats plus a guest suite over three floors, with all the modern features you would hope for in a purpose-built sheltered scheme.

“This includes lifts, a garden room, a communal lounge, well-being suite, and even hairdressing facilities.

“I would like to thank the tenants for their ongoing support and understanding during the process.”

Laura Craddock, Reynolds Court sheltered housing officer, said: “At first, I think there was a lot of concern and worry from residents about the move.

“But as the plan progressed and residents received information about what was going to happen, there was a lot more positivity about the scheme.

“I currently have 13 residents here but the new complex will allow more than 40 to be housed here.”

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