Felixstowe: Demolition of sheltered homes complex under way

GOOD progress is being made on the demolition of a former sheltered housing complex which has been standing empty for more than three years.

The next stage will be a comprehensive redevelopment of the land with bungalows – providing funding can be secured.

Housing provider Flagship is making the clearance of the 22 flats and seven bungalows of Conford House, Exmoor Road, Felixstowe. Contractors have so far removed fixtures and fittings inside the properties, salvaging plumbing, woodwork and other reusable materials.

The complex is the oldest of its kind at the resort and has been deteriorating since the tenants were moved.

When it was built in 1968, the 1.3-acre complex, then council-owned, was opened by the Duchess of Kent and was one of the first state-of-the-art sheltered complexes in the county.

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However, improving standards of care and support meant the scheme no longer met the needs of modern residents and was deemed not fit for purpose.

Housing association officials say tenants today are unwilling to occupy bedsit sheltered housing and want their own accommodation tailored to their needs.

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Initially, Flagship was working with Ipswich Blind Society to redevelop the site with a “very sheltered” home of 32 flats and community facilities for visually impaired residents until the recession put paid to the project. Following the change of government and cuts in public funding, the company has gained consent for 14 bungalows.

The new homes for the elderly will be fitted out to the very latest standards, and six will be specifically for wheelchair-bound people.

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