Work starts on supported later living development

Construction work on an exciting new supported living development has started at the former Stirchley Leisure Centre site.

Social housing provider Preferred Homes Ltd completed the land purchase in March 2023 and has now been given the green light to begin creating a 72-bed extra care facility costing a total of £17m.

The state-of-the-art development at the 1.1 acre site, on Grange Avenue, Telford, will enable residents to live independently with onsite care support.

The new facility will provide more supported and specialist housing which Telford & Wrekin Council is committed to delivering through its Specialist and Supported Accommodation Strategy (2020-2025) which contributes to its overall Housing Strategy.

Through the strategy, the council underlines its support for the most vulnerable adults and children in the borough by giving them access to suitable housing.

Construction of this latest extra care facility at Stirchley feeds into the council’s plan to see the development of a range of new build specialist and supported accommodation over the next 10 years, reflecting the needs and demand in local communities, particularly in the south of Telford.

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes & enforcement, said: “We are delighted that Preferred Homes have now started work at the former Stirchley Leisure Centre.

“We’re excited to see this new supported living facility start taking shape and transforming this site.

“The project aligns with our Specialist and Supported Accommodation Strategy and highlights our commitment to provide more specialist housing for our residents across the borough.

The council is expecting there to be an increase in older and vulnerable people with support needs and an increased demand for a wider mix of specialist and supported housing.

Homes England is also helping to fund the new development through the Affordable Homes Programme which aims to deliver 90,000 grant funded affordable homes up to 2026.

Preferred Homes delivers, owns and manages a portfolio of sustainable, affordable extra care apartments with available on site care.

Councillor Overton added: “Bringing this site back into use was an integral piece in the redevelopment of Stirchley, centred around the school development.

“The sale to Preferred Homes paves the way for construction work to start on this new supported living facility.

“Not only will this see the former leisure centre site redeveloped, the creation of supported living facilities is needed in this part of the borough. This is an exciting project which is great news for Stirchley and our residents.”

The site has significant strategic advantages and boasts close proximity to local facilities including the Stirchley Centre, local school, leisure facilities at the Telford Park School, shops and a medical practice.

The leisure centre is now based within the Lakeside Academy in the heart of Stirchley village which was built through the Building Schools for Future (BSF) programme.

The Academy and leisure centre was part of a £75 million BSF scheme launched in Telford and Wrekin in 2013 that replaced old primary schools, as well as creating six new secondary schools and academies.

The supported living development is being constructed by Midlands-based Deeley Construction.

Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director of Deeley Group, said: “This development marks the first in our partnership with Preferred Homes and it is great to be on-site creating this important new extra care facility.

“We have great expertise in extra care developments and we’re pleased to also be working on another project that will bring significant benefit to people working in the Telford and Wrekin area.”

Richard Frank, Property Director at Preferred Homes, said: “We are delighted to be on site with Deeley Construction to provide 72 extra care apartments in Stirchley.

“We aim to provide modern affordable accommodation for the local population of Stirchley built to the highest standards.

“The forward thinking of Telford & Wrekin Council is to be applauded and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship.”

Hannah Wilson, Senior Manager for Affordable Housing Growth at Homes England, said: “We are pleased to support the development of high-quality homes using affordable housing grant.

“We are committed to supporting Preferred Homes Ltd and Telford & Wrekin Council who have ambitions to build new homes and our investment through affordable housing grant allows us to do that.  

“We are delighted that this funding will enable much needed new homes in the area.”