A new 105-apartment extra care facility will be built as part of the West of Horsham development east of the A24.
Planning permission was granted by Horsham District Council for the scheme last Wednesday, which will be jointly delivered by developer Berkeley Homes and Horsham-based housing association Saxon Weald.
The four-to-five-storey building would see 60 of the 105 units be affordable rented flats.
Mark Crosby, business development director at Saxon Weald, said: “We think extra care provision is a really important housing option for older people in housing needs. It sits between retirement housing and a care home and provides a degree of independence.”
He said that each apartment would have its own kitchen and bathroom and would ‘allow people to live as independently as possible which we think is really important’.
All residents would have access to communal facilities, and while people would be able to live independently, there would be varying packages of care on offer.
He explained: “Interaction is important in avoiding some of the isolation that older people can experience.”
Andrew McPhillips, development director of Berkeley Homes Southern, said he urged members to support a scheme that would provide an ‘outstanding extra care facility’.
Outline planning permission was granted to Berkeley Homes for the 48 hectare site in August 2010 for up to 1,044 homes. These plans included a new junction on the A24, provision for employment floorspace, a fire station, a community centre, and expanded school facilities.
The first properties were finished last year with part of the site already occupied.
David Sheldon (LDem, Denne) said: “I think the scheme is extremely innovative and something we should welcome on this particular site.”
He thought that this type of accommodation could see larger affordable units freed up for families in need.
He added: “Both applicants are committed to make this affordable and making this work and it’s exciting and I believe we should take it forward.”
Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) and Malcolm Curnock (LDem, Broadbridge Heath) did raise slight concerns about the number of parking spaces provided on site.
Mr Curnock said: “There’s a chance we are underestimating the family members who will be providing not total but additional care.”
Meanwhile Roy Cornell (Con, Roffey South) did question the attractiveness of the buildings.
He said: “I do not want to sound negative, this is a brilliant development, something which is greatly needed.
“However, on the elevation [plans] it looks a little bit unattractive to my eyes.”
Andrew Smith, HDC’s housing strategy and development manager, said: “It’s a thrilling and new model.
“We are excited about it ourselves.”
The committee also approved a variation to the original legal agreement to include the new extra care facility, and ensure payment of additional contributions if the number of properties exceeded 1,090.