Extra-care scheme moves ahead

Much-needed ‘extra care’ homes for older people in Winchester moved a step closer this week.

Winchester City Council is preparing to close the surface car park at Chesil Street from Monday 8 February, paving the way for 52 flats to be built on the site.

The development is expected to start during February, with the opening in early autumn 2017.

The £15m scheme, funded by the City Council, Homes and Community Agency, Hampshire County Council and a local bequest means that older people, who may have had to live apart in later life as their care needs change, will have the opportunity to live in modern, well-designed flats. The homes will benefit Winchester’s elderly, vulnerable residents for many years, helping to prevent emergency hospital admissions and enable early discharge to reduce bed-blocking.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:  

Old age and possibly poor health will affect us all at some stage. I am really looking forward to seeing this life-changing facility starting on site, which will benefit Winchester’s growing elderly population for years to come.

One response to the consultation on the planning application summed up the benefits of the scheme. It said: “This is a development that is desperately needed in Winchester city, as its population ages and becomes more vulnerable with the increase of long-term conditions.

Providing mixed facilities for both health and social care is an essential part of planning for the future. I'm extremely encouraged by the integrated approach that this project offers. The siting of the proposal is ideal; it is close enough to the centre of Winchester for access and interest, it is adjacent to the new Community Trust Hub at Avalon House for close integration of health and social support, it is convenient for relative/friend visiting.

The closure of the Chesil Street surface car park is part of the Council’s car parking strategy and will enable the extra-care housing development to proceed.

The neighbouring Chesil multi-storey car park has capacity to cope with displaced parking from the surface car park. Special arrangements will be made for busy periods such as Christmas.

Careful thought has been given to the impact of the scheme on car parking arrangements in the area and provision is being made to meet residents’ parking needs both during and after the construction of the extra-care scheme.

All season-ticket rights have been transferred to the multi-storey car park and residents’ on-street parking spaces will be replaced on a like-for-like basis.

The City Council will write to season-ticket holders and residents shortly with more detailed information.