£1.5m supported living scheme for Morpeth approved by county councillors

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Leading councillors in Northumberland have approved plans to create a new supported living scheme in Morpeth.

The £1.5million project will provide facilities for elderly residents to continue to live independently, with additional support on site.

The proposals will see 84 new homes built on land at St George’s Hospital. Planning permission was granted in February – and the council has now agreed to fund the build.

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It is hoped that the new homes will free up homes for younger families to move into, improving the county’s housing situation. Furthermore, almost half of the properties will be designated as affordable housing.

Northumberland County Council's headquarters at County Hall in Morpeth.Northumberland County Council's headquarters at County Hall in Morpeth.
Northumberland County Council's headquarters at County Hall in Morpeth.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the council’s cabinet, portfolio holder for adult social care Coun Wendy Pattison said: “Extra care and supported housing enables self care and independent living for older residents. Extra care schemes throughout the county are in high demand, and no more so than in Morpeth.

“I’m delighted to announce plans for 84 apartments at St George’s in Morpeth.”

Council leader Glen Sanderson added: “We want to provide extra housing in specialist housing. I’m very pleased – this is a good first step in what will be a really successful development.”

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The scheme will be funded by section 106 money from housing developers (£1.061 million) and a Government grant (£439,000).

Coun Colin Horncastle, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said the scheme would help to ease the pressure on the town’s housing market.

The development also features dwellings specifically designed to support people with dementia – something Coun Pattison said was “close to her heart”.

Deputy leader Coun Richard Wearmouth added: “This is housing that people can downsize into where they have challenges around their health. I personally have had family who have had lived in the units at St George’s with dementia.

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“It is the most horrible thing to watch someone with dementia. There is nothing perhaps more disturbing as someone losing their memory.

“Every now and again you see something in their eyes where they recognise you for a second – and then it is gone. Anything that makes the autumn of your life better with that condition is a fantastic thing.”