A watershed moment as Farrow Court is granted permission

If you haven’t heard of Farrow Court yet, you soon will. Prepare to be amazed! Farrow Court is one of the borough’s sheltered housing schemes but it is soon to be brought into the 21st century following ambitious and exciting plans that will benefit its residents and the local community.

Not only that but it is going to be unique in terms of what it offers, how it is to be built by the community and it will be a flag bearer for sheltered housing schemes of the future.

The project, which includes grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, will include an additional 60 accommodation units, meaning Farrow Court will provide up to 100 high-quality units, including learning disability units, recuperative care units a new day-care centre, communal facilities as well as a hairdressers and a restaurant.

In order to deliver this 21st century housing scheme, the council has appointed construction company Denne, with which it worked so successfully on the delivery of transformational change on Stanhope. Leading specialists in sustainable design, PRP Architects, are also heavily involved in bringing this vision to life.

This project represents a new way of working for the council. It is more than partnership working – it is bringing a real effort to back local businesses and trades through the construction process.

The plans are overwhelmingly supported by Farrow Court residents, who will benefit from new, more spacious modern accommodation that is more energy efficient than they have now and goes well beyond the decent homes standard.

With more people living longer the project is also vital, with sheltered accommodation in more demand. The units give people a sense of community but crucially independence too, and this option also means bigger properties may also become free for families on the waiting list to be housed. That is why the council has worked really hard with both Age UK and Kent County Council’s Social Services team on the design elements of this proposal to ensure it truly delivers everything that older residents will need.

The first phase of work is anticipated to be completed by March 2015, with phase two being completed in 2016.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said:

“Farrow Court is a flagship project for the borough and a unique project. Not only will it be the catalyst for where we are taking the provision for our older residents across our sheltered schemes but it will make other providers of sheltered schemes across the country take note of just what can be achieved. We pride ourselves on the quality and standard of our new homes but this will be the best of the best. We fully believe that in Denne and PRP we have the right contractors and a combined vision and with our plans to support the local economy we know that together we can deliver a stunning outcome.”

Cllr Aline Hicks, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said:

“Farrow Court will give us a community facility to be truly proud of. The attention to detail will mean lifetime living for residents and with both an ageing population and an increase in demand for family homes owned by the council this work is vital and just the start of our remodelling work across the borough.”