New Almshouses proving to be a fantastic addition to Colchester

26 November 2019

Nine new almshouses have been developed in Colchester which will all be let as affordable homes under Colchester Borough Council’s Gateway to Homechoice scheme.

The new properties were completed by Winnocks and Kendalls Almshouse Charity in Colchester in October

The new homes replace seven almshouses which were no longer suitable for occupation . The new buildings have been designed in a similar style as the remaining 34 almshouses at the scheme with distinctive features of the existing buildings, such as the gables, tall chimneys and the design of the front doors, incorporated into the new buildings.

The new homes are built to Lifetime Homes standards, have a level access shower room so they can also be suitable for residents with restricted mobility and are designed for older people who wish to live independently. They are also more energy efficient due to their terraced design and use of modern materials and construction methods.

The majority of the homes are on the ground floor with those on the upper floors accessible by a lift. The ground floor homes have their own terrace as well as additional attractive communal gardens with seating areas linking the new homes with the existing almshouses, allowing the residents to enjoy the outside space together.

The residents also have access to a communal hall with a kitchen area for events and gatherings.

All homes are larger than the previous ones and suitable for couples as well as single occupants. Five of the new homes have been allocated, with two households already moved in and delighted with their new home.

Colchester Borough Council supported the Charity with gap funding of almost £450,000 from its reserve of Right to Buy receipts in return for nomination rights to the new properties. The Council’s support to boost affordable housing in the borough compliments the Council’s own affordable housing development programme where it aims to deliver 350 affordable homes in the next five years.

Cllr Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We are delighted to be working with Winnocks and Kendalls Almshouse Charity on this project. This is a well designed scheme where the housing needs of older people have really been taken into consideration.”

The scheme was designed by Purcell Architects and was constructed by Brooks and Wood Ltd.