Wickham Court housing approved despite objectionsBy Stephen Lloyd
January 10, 2013
PLANS to build a new sheltered housing complex have been approved after fears about a lack of parking were allayed.
It means Sentinel Housing Association can now redevelop Wickham Court in Church Crookham.
The not-for-profit social landlord, which has an annual turnover of around £50 million, will demolish the current outdated buildings and replace them with a new 41-unit sheltered housing scheme for the over 55s, featuring a new car park and secure landscaped gardens.
The scheme initially came under fire from people living nearby.
One resident, who wished not to be named, said the proposed three-storey building would completely overlook their property and cause a loss of light.
“Our dining room and landing will directly look into many of the proposed flats,” they added. “This lack of privacy extends to our garden, where we have for over 35 years attempted to provide privacy for our family.”
Another resident said there were not enough parking spaces being provided for the number of flats proposed and that there were already parking problems in Wickham Place. They believed the proposed development would only add to them.
Fleet Parish Council also objected, warning the bulk of the proposed building was too close to Wickham Road. Members were also concerned about a ‘major’ lack of parking and the impact the proposed development would have on the street scene.
But Hart District Council’s planning committee approved the application after being told Sentinel was willing and able to provide additional parking for nearby homes in Wickham Road.
PRP Architects, which is acting on behalf of Sentinel Housing Association, said the scheme would replace outdated and difficult to let sheltered housing with modern and larger homes.
It said the current buildings provided 34 dwellings, which are considered sub-standard. Twenty-nine of the units are bedsits, which are proving particularly difficult to let with less than a third currently occupied.
The new complex will have 26 two-bedroom and 15 one-bedroom flats with a communal lounge, kitchen, informal seating areas, small buggy store and communal gardens.
PRP said Sentinel will create a safe, caring community for older people, who will be helped to maintain their dignity and independence.
It added the main aims of the project were to provide older people with their own self-contained flat and to offer a ‘home for life’ as far as practically possible. All flats will be designed to the standards required for wheelchair users, with lift access to all floors.
They will all feature fully fitted kitchens, accessible shower rooms and lounges with dining areas. An emergency/panic alarm call system will be installed in each flat, while a warden will regularly visit the site.
Sentinel hopes to send out tenders later this month with a view to selecting a contractor and starting work on site by the end of this financial year.