Stepnell starts on design and build scheme for high-quality Abingdon extra care development


The Stepnell Wantage team has been appointed by housing provider bpha to a £4.9 million contract for the design, development and construction of a high-quality extra care housing scheme for older residents in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. This new care facility is being delivered by bpha with grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency and Oxfordshire County Council, in partnership with care provider, The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT).

Stepnell’s Wantage team recently began work in Ock Street, Abingdon, on the demolition of the former Mayott House care home. It will be replaced with a brand-new two-storey development made up of 42 self-contained one- and two-bedroom extra care apartments.

The high-quality extra care development, designed by The Design Partnership, will provide modern housing allowing residents to live independently but with the reassuring knowledge that 24-hour care and support is available should they need it.

In addition to the individual apartments, the development will be equipped with communal facilities including dining and sitting rooms and a sun lounge; a hair salon and laundry. The contract includes the provision of staff facilities and external works as well as interior furniture, fixtures and fittings. The year-long construction programme is set for completion in March 2015.

Energy-efficient features of the development include photovoltaic roof panels with the overall schemes set to achieve a ‘Good’ rating through the BREEAM environmental assessment method.

The development, which was awarded to Stepnell through a competitive tendering process, has created a number of construction jobs. These include the recruitment by Stepnell of new site manager Gary Hubbard as well as a trainee site manager and a site labourer, all from the local area.

In addition, once complete, the extra care development will create approximately 30 full- and part-time jobs for staff.

Mark Holmes, head of property and housing at OSJCT, says: “The unique design of this extra care housing scheme not only promotes a healthier, active and more independent lifestyle for older people, but also provides residents with the security of living in a high quality home with a tailor-made care plan to suit their individual needs.”

Stepnell director Tom Wakeford says: “Our team brings significant experience in the design and development of new extra care housing to an extremely high standard. We are excited to have started work on this important and much-needed high-quality accommodation which will offer residents modern, well-equipped interiors and an outstanding range of facilities and services.”

Sarah Ireland, director of development and sales at bpha, comments: “As an affordable housing provider we are delighted to be redeveloping the former Mayott House care home site to deliver safe, comfortable, affordable homes for older people in Abingdon. This latest development is part of our strategic plan for Oxfordshire region to assist Oxfordshire County Council in their delivery of their Older People's Joint Commissioning Strategy.”

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