The Princess Royal Opens New Housing Scheme with a "Happy Community Atmosphere"
Wednesday 26th of February 2020
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially opened Ashford Borough Council’s new £7.5m Danemore sheltered housing scheme in Tenterden on Wednesday 12 February.
During a tour of the facilities, The Princess Royal was welcomed into the home of resident Barbara Williams who chatted to her Royal guest about living at Danemore.
Barbara said: “When I heard that The Princess Royal was coming to visit I was thrilled and hoped I would get to see her. When she called into my home you can imagine how delighted I was to meet her. We had a lovely chat and a laugh.”
Barbara Williams meeting The Princess Royal
Before unveiling the commemorative plaque, The Princess Royal met and chatted with residents of the scheme in the communal lounge, much to the delight of the people who are now proud to call Danemore home.
The reopening is a major landmark in the council’s multi-million pound modernisation plan for its sheltered housing schemes.
Located a short walk from the town centre, the new-look Danemore provides 34 homes, that are high quality and care ready, for affordable rent for older people and four chalet bungalows which are being sold on the open market to subsidise some of the project’s costs.
“All the apartments are now occupied and I’m delighted to say that we are already seeing a really happy community atmosphere being generated here,” said Sharon Williams, head of housing at Ashford Borough Council.
Danemore is designed to be dementia-friendly throughout, taking into account colour schemes, light, corridor lengths, patterns and memory shelves. It has been devised in recognition of the need to make special provision for an ageing population.
By 2026 it is thought around 40% of Ashford residents will be aged over 50.
Danemore residents enjoy a range of high quality facilities. There is a large communal lounge and kitchen, laundry room, guest suite, buggy store and cycle racks. A treatment room provides hair dressing, nail bar and podiatrist and chiropodist massage chair plus foot spa.
Shared facilities, including ‘hubs’ or sub lounges in addition to a main communal lounge have created a real community spirit with residents. The scheme has been designed to maximise natural daylight in each home and shared spaces.
The traditionally built carbon friendly flats incorporate a large area of green roofing, with each flat benefiting from a winter garden balcony protected by a glazed screen. There are architect landscaped designed garden spaces with potting shed and raised beds for residents to use.
The scheme has CCTV monitored both on and off site, a video door entry system, a sprinkler system fitted in every apartment, the council-controlled Lifeline system installed and free WiFi in the lounge, with Freeview and Freesat also available in each apartment.
A manager is available to ensure the smooth running of the scheme, while ABC’s own Handyman service is able to help with maintenance work.
Danemore was paid for through the council’s housing revenue account and grant funding from Homes England. The new facility was built by Westridge Construction Ltd, with architects PRP also involved.