Supported homes scheme sparks interest

Dozens of people gathered in Aylsham to hear about a supported housing scheme which will form part of the town's planned care facilities.

The project, providing 30 one and two-bedroom flats, is part of the St Michael's Care Complex taking shape in the grounds of the town's 26-bedded community hospital, which has been earmarked for closure.

Some 50 visitors attending a talk in the town heard that the housing with care scheme would be aimed at people who wanted to remain independent but needed some personal care or other support. All rooms would be wheelchair accessible and the scheme would also include lounges and quiet rooms, hairdressers and assisted bathing and toilet facilities.

The meeting, organised by Aylsham Care Trust (ACT), was attended by representatives from project builders Circle Anglia, Broadland District Council and Norfolk County Council social services who explained the level of care provided, costs, eligibility and how to apply.

Four of the flats will be available for sale at market price, six will be for buying under a shared equity scheme with Circle Anglia, and the remainder will be available at affordable rents. Jenny Manser, chairman of ACT, said: 'We are pleased that the scheme is going ahead. The level of interest indicates that there is a massive need and desire for this type of accommodation in Aylsham.'

The first phase of the complex, nursing home St Michael's Court, opened last month with nine of its 86 beds earmarked for NHS use.

Work on the remaining parts of the care jigsaw - the housing with care project, an ACT community centre, and a �1.1m heath centre - is due to get underway next month or in January 2011.

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The community and health centres should be finished by the end of 2011 and the housing with care is expected to open in spring or summer 2012.

A further meeting about the housing with care scheme will be held on Wednesday December 1 in Maingay House, Aylsham, at 2pm. Anyone who would like to attend should contact Susie Dempsey on 01263 734578 or email: