We are delighted that our affordable housing scheme for over 60s in Uckfield, has won a Housing Design Award 2020.
The £11m development, Grants Hill Court, in Oaklea Way near Uckfield town centre features 65 apartments and two cottages for social rent.
The Housing Design Awards
The Housing Design Awards is run in partnership with the Government and was established over 70 years ago. It is the only awards programme promoted by all five major professional institutions – RICS, RIBA, RPTI, Landscape Institute and chartered institute of architectural technologists.
Stuart Fullwood, Business Development Director for Thakeham Group, said:
This is great news for Grants Hill Court. It was a wonderful achievement to be shortlisted alongside some of the best new developments in the country. But to win a Housing Design Award 2020 represents a significant national endorsement of the successful partnership between Wealden Council, Thakeham Group and architects PRP.
The striking design creates a ‘social heart’ around a shared garden, linking the new development to the existing bungalows, creating a strong sense of community. The award is tribute to the inspiration, innovation and hard work of the entire project team.
Councillor Ray Cade, Wealden Cabinet member for Housing, said:
We are very proud the project received national recognition. Our vision was to create a safe, modern environment for residents to thrive during the different stages of retirement. Every aspect of the design has been considered with our architects PRP and contractor Thakeham Client. Right down to the internal colour scheme. Details are tremendously important when new making homes as dementia-friendly as possible.
We were thrilled to learn from residents, after they moved in, that Grants Hill Court had improved their lives and created a wonderful community.
Grants Hill Court was originally a Local Authority-owned housing scheme, which was no longer fit for purpose and therefore proposed for redevelopment.
During the design development of the project, consultation with the Planning Officer, Housing Officers, the Thomas Scanlon Trust, Uckfield Bowling Club and Local Councillors informed the emerging design proposals.
The Planning Application was submitted in November 2015 and received unanimous approval in March 2016, with committee members praising the new design as ‘the jewel in the crown for Uckfield’. Grants Hill Court was completed in June 2019 and is now fully occupied.
Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation
The project followed Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) Design principles. The HAPPI principles are based on 10 key design criteria including good light, ventilation, room to move around and good storage. They also consider housing that offers an attractive alternative to the family home, and the ability to adapt over time to meet changing needs.
With HAPPI principles in mind, Grants Hill Court enhances social inclusion, dignity, choice and independence of older people. By encouraging social interaction, the scheme reduces loneliness and supports the general health and wellbeing of residents.
The provision of affordable, efficient, care-ready apartments and cottages reflect a strategic local housing need for older people. It also facilitates the release of larger family homes back into the local housing market.