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Independent Care Flats for Seniors Planned in Guildford

Published on: 19 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 19 Mar, 2021

The Pond Meadow Site as it is today

Guildford is among eight towns across Surrey to have hundreds of new homes specially designed to help older people live independently.

The county council plans 415 self-contained flats on land it owns in Reigate, Banstead, Redhill, Godalming, Farnham and Walton, two sites in Cobham, and five others, including the former Pond Meadow school in Park Barn, Guildford

The flats will have their own front door, with 24-hour support if needed, and voice-activated home devices. That means residents can remain in their own community and won’t need to take up hospital beds or move to a care home.

“Enabling people to access the right health and social care with appropriate housing can empower the most vulnerable residents to remain independent and achieve their potential,” said Cllr Sinead Mooney, county cabinet member for adult social care, public health and domestic abuse.

Cllr Sinead Mooney

“Our plans are really coming together. This must and has to be about delivery. We’ve identified the sites, so it’s critically important we really crack on and deliver.”

Cabinet has approved £3 million for the latest “extra care housing” plans with designs, surveys and planning applications.

The four other sites already announced are Salisbury Road, Epsom, near Lakeside in Frimley, the former Pinehurst Resource Centre, Park Road, Camberley, and the former Brockhurst Care Home, Brox Road, Ottershaw

The county council’s target has been adjusted to provide 725 affordable apartments for older people by 2030. When announced in 2019, the target was 2028 but the council has not explained the change.

Pond Meadow School buildings before they were demolished. Photo taken 2012, David Rose

An SCC spokesman said: “Our aim of expanding extra care housing provision by the end of the decade is in line with our community vision for Surrey in 2030 and we’re progressing towards that.“The focus will be on making sure provision is affordable within local housing allowance rates. We expect the first five schemes to provide about 300 homes, with exact numbers for each site to be determined by design and planning.”

The eight new sites may change depending on the surveys and changes in need or demand around the county.

Cllr Fiona White

Fiona White the Lib Dem county councillor and borough councillor for the area said: “I have been pressing Surrey County Council to develop the Pond Meadow site since the school closed in 2007. I am delighted that the scheme is coming to fruition and I am looking forward to building works commencing very quickly.

“The extra care housing will help residents to continue to live independently and delay moves into residential care. It will also help to free up family housing which is so badly needed in the area.”


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Responses to Independent Care Flats for Seniors Planned in Guildford

  1. David Smith Reply

    March 19, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Absolutely shocking this brownfield site, capable of providing affordable housing, has been left sitting empty since 2007. How many more sites are there that are GBC owned like this?

    Editor’s comment: The site is owned by SCC not GBC.

  2. Fiona White Reply

    March 20, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    As the editor has said, the former school site in Pond Meadow is owned by Surrey County Council. Guildford Borough Council has the benefit of a covenant restricting the use of the land for educational purposes. There is a proposal in the borough council’s Executive agenda on March 23 to remove the covenant to allow the extra care housing scheme to go ahead.

    However, the comment by David Smith is relevant as Surrey County Council own a number of sites across the county that are now being considered for extra care housing schemes. I am pleased to say that the Pond Meadow site is likely to be the first to be built.

    Fiona White is a Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford West and borough councillor for Westborough.

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