Work to start this summer on Stansted sheltered housing redevelopment

Cllr Julie Redfern in the bedroom/lounge of the unit.

Cllr Julie Redfern in the bedroom/lounge of the unit. - Credit: Archant

WORK will begin on the long-awaited redevelopment in Stansted Mountfitchet this summer.

An exterior shot of the block of sheltered units due for demolition.

An exterior shot of the block of sheltered units due for demolition. - Credit: Archant

Uttlesford District Council was recently granted permission to demolish 27 old sheltered housing units at Mead Court, 21 cramped bedsits and nine underused garages at the ageing complex in Cannons Mead.

In their place will be built 29 modern and more spacious affordable properties, which will surpass the ‘Decent Homes Standards’ the current accommodation no longer meets.

Cllr Julie Redfern, cabinet member for Housing, said: “I am delighted the planning committee gave the scheme to redevelop Mead Court its unanimous approval.

“We are currently reviewing all of the council’s sheltered housing properties but Mead Court had already been identified as not fit for purpose.

“The sheltered units are tiny in comparison to what we are proposing to replace them with - I wouldn’t have wanted to see a relative of mine or anyone else’s living in one of them.

“Surveys of older residents which have been carried out recently indicate that they much prefer living independently as opposed to living in this type of communal accommodation.

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“The new homes we are going to build at Mead Court will provide exactly that kind of independence whilst being a much nicer place to live at the same time.”

The old sheltered housing complex and difficult-to-let bedsits are being replaced with nine bungalows (two-bed), eight two-storey homes (two and three-bed) and eight flats (one and two-bed).

In addition the council will build four one-bedroomed flats as temporary accommodation and providing 43 car parking spaces, four visitor parking spaces and a disabled bay.

The new accommodation will still be centred around the existing tree-lined green at Mead Court which is so popular with current residents.

Because the new homes will be so much bigger than the current units the Council has decided there is no longer a justification for a communal facility.

But residents will have access to the nearby Crafton Room Day Centre, which can provide lunches, access to computers, bingo and other events.

The Day Centre has its own minibus staffed by volunteer drivers who can transport residents to and from Mead Court.

Cllr Redfern added: “I know a few of the residents might be feeling anxious about having to move into new properties.

“But I assure them what we are building to replace their current homes will be so much nicer for them - we also have to think of the residents of the future, not just the current ones.

“Although the Mead Court of the future will not be a sheltered complex those residents who need it will still have access to the sheltered warden and the Lifeline service.

“This authority has acted decisively to demolish facilities which by today’s standards would never have been allowed to be built.

“We are now in the fortunate position of being able to fund major redevelopments such as this.

“I feel passionately that we are doing the right thing for our current tenants and our tenants of the future.”