Plans for new retirement living homes in Pont lodged

Karbon Homes has revealed its detailed proposal to invest in new retirement living accommodation for older residents in Ponteland.

Monday, 27th May 2019, 15:30 pm
An architects drawing of how the new Athol Court building could look; this is the western elevation of the proposed building, facing Callerton Lane.

The housing association has been working closely with architects JDDK on the £4million building, which is intended to provide 34 apartments.

The plans for the building, designed to replace the existing Athol House on Callerton Lane, have now been submitted to Northumberland County Council. Karbon has the support of Homes England in funding the costs of the project, if approved.

In March last year, the association first told the 29 residents of Athol House that they would have to move out to enable the site to be upgraded if the plans get the green light, so arrangements could be made over a period of months. However, they would be welcome to come back into one of the new apartments if they wish.

It has also consulted with the local community, including town and county councillors, before agreeing the scale and style of the new building.

The changes made include increasing the number of parking spaces from 17 to 20.

A Karbon Homes spokesman said: “All Athol House residents were offered extensive support to ensure they were rehoused satisfactorily, and all residents were appropriately compensated for the disruption of moving house.

“The existing Athol House building was built more than 35 years ago, with many small, bedsit-style flats that do not meet modern standards or residents’ aspirations.

“The proposed new building would provide 34 good-sized homes – 28 two-bed apartments and six one-bed apartments, compared to 35 smaller homes in the old building.”

The proposed new development has been designed to occupy a similar footprint to the existing building, but elevated slightly above the current ground-floor level to ensure flood safety, given the proximity of the River Pont, and moved slightly further from neighbouring properties to ensure no loss of privacy.

Zoey Hawthorne, assistant director of development delivery for Karbon Homes, said: “We’ve tried to put forward a development that meets the needs of the local community for high-quality, affordable housing for older people.

“The building is intended to sit comfortably in this location, retaining mature trees around the site.”