DERBYSHIRE: Council announces housing review

editorial image

Derbyshire residents will get the chance to help shape services for older people in their local areas as part of a review to be launched by Derbyshire County Council.

At its meeting on Tuesday 6th May the county council’s cabinet agreed to hold the review which will look at all aspects of accommodation, care and support services for older people across Derbyshire.

The review follows a decision made by the authority to agree that the contract to build hundreds of extra care apartments should be ended early.

The contract with not-for-profit housing association Housing 21 was to build up to 800 extra care apartments for older people over two phases.

Phase one was to build two care centres – one in Long Eaton with 61 apartments and one in Buxton with 54 apartments – with both having day services and specialist residential care for people with dementia.

Phase two was to build the remainder of the extra care schemes – including around 680 extra care apartments - in locations spread across Derbyshire, with most sites to be confirmed at a later date.

In February this year Housing 21 informed the county council that while it was committed to the developments in Long Eaton, where work is already underway, and Buxton, which is subject to planning permission, it had taken the decision to withdraw from the contract for phase two of the programme.

Housing 21 told the council that it was withdrawing because it could not secure finance from the market at a level that made the developments viable.

After considering the information given by Housing 21, the council announced its decision to agree to end the contract early following a meeting at the end of April.

Following cabinet’s agreement to the review, the county council will shortly be calling on local people to ask them for their views on what accommodation and support services they would like to see in their area.

Future plans would place an emphasis on supporting people to live independently in their own homes where possible and ensuring there is a good mix of residential accommodation across the county. This could include extra care apartments, specialist centres offering care for people with a higher level of need including dementia and county council-run residential care, as well as high quality day services.

Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for adult social care, Councillor Clare Neill said: “While it is disappointing that Housing 21 withdrew from the contract, what we now have is an opportunity to take a fresh look at what is available.

“We will shortly be asking for the views of local people across the county about what they would like to see in their local areas.

“We’ll also be looking to set up a group that will work closely with us on designing new proposals.”

Housing schemes for older people that the county council is already working on in partnership will continue as planned.

These developments are: three extra care schemes currently being developed with partner Chevin Housing at Chesterfield, Alfreton and Clay Cross, specialist community care centres in Heanor and Darley Dale (Florence Shipley Community Care Centre and The Meadow View Centre), where work is well underway, and the agreed developments with Housing 21 and its development partner in Buxton (subject to planning permission) and Long Eaton, where work has already started.