We are working on an exciting development in Bridport in partnership with:
- heath care developer Shaw Healthcare
- developer Morgan Sindall Later Living
- housing provider East Boro Housing Trust
We are producing plans for a community development, including new care and housing facilities on 2 sites off South Street:
- Flood Lane
- the former Fisherman’s Arms pub
We own the land and are working with specialists who can offer their expertise and finance to help make this exciting opportunity become a reality.
Why we are doing this
The number of people living with dementia in the area is likely to increase by 74% before 2035, so we need to build the right accommodation and services to care for local people for years to come.
Bridport has a limited amount of accommodation with varying amounts of support for people who are frail, have disabilities or complex needs. There are limited options for adults with disabilities to move away from home when they want to and when people leave hospital with increased care needs.
The Extra Care (purpose built accommodation, where staff and services are available 24/7) and supported living accommodation will enable people to play an active role in the local community if they want to and live more independent lives, particularly as residents will be within 1km of the town centre and its amenities.
There is a shortage of affordable housing for local people in the area and it is difficult to attract people to work in the care profession locally. Building affordable homes for key workers employed in the care sector will enable people to live and work in their local community. It should increase recruitment and retention of skilled and experienced staff who will be supporting local people.
We are acting on feedback from local people and care providers, who wanted and supported a development which provided a care home, Extra Care and supported housing and day service facilities – enabling people to connect with community groups and resources.
We followed a procurement process, called ‘competitive dialogue’, which allowed us to discuss proposed solutions with bidders (in accordance with national legislation).
In January 2020, we signed agreements to develop plans to:
- provide accommodation for adults with care and support needs; and
- design a sustainable travel plan to ensure the development is connected to the town
We intend to build:
- a new purpose-built Extra Care housing scheme off Flood Lane, facing West Bay Road. The homes are specifically designed to enable people with support needs, difficulty getting about, and increasing frailty to continue to live as independently as possible, for as long as they want to. These homes will be rental only, at affordable rents.
- a new care home with nursing at Flood Lane. There will be care services for people with complex nursing and dementia needs in modern, purpose-built facilities.
- a respite care facility – allowing people to stay for short periods of time. This will enable family carers to have a break, prevent admissions to hospital or help people get back on their feet after being in hospital.
- a minimum of 25 affordable housing units at the former Fishermans Arms site on South Street. Some will be available for key workers in care and health professions.
- several housing options for people who require on-site support: this may be for young people who have been in care and need limited support when they enter adulthood, adults with learning or physical disabilities or those with mental health needs.
The Building Better Lives team have been working closely with Bridport Town Council and the Bridport Local Area Partnership (BLAP) over the course of the project and will continue to work together.
Local health organisations: NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Dorset Healthcare, Bridport Community Hospital and Bridport Medical Centre have provided feedback on the initial plans.
The developers have now completed site surveys and their architects have been designing concepts of how the sites could look. They aim to submit planning applications in July 2021. As part of the planning process, residents will be invited to provide their comments on them.
These drawings show the latest ideas of how we can use the sites:
This scheme does not include any planned changes to Sidney Gale House residential care home, as the scheme will provide a new nursing home and Extra Care accommodation. We will speak to residents and the local community if this changes.
What happens next
Once the developer’s planning application has been approved (demonstrating our requirements for housing have been met), the land will be sold to them at the agreed price.
We will still own the land proposed for building the nursing home, but we’ll rent it to the developer on a long lease term. Some of the rooms in the nursing home will be allocated through our Adult Social Care service and some will be available on the open market for private care.
Timelines are subject to change.
- March – Dorset Council sign development agreement with developers
- July - Planning permission submitted
- Summer-Autumn – Formal consultation on planning application
- December – Planning application determined
- Later 2021 - early 2022 – Building contractor appointed
- Spring – Works starts on site
- Build complete and ready to occupy
Due to Coronavirus, we have not been able to meet residents face-to-face, as we would have liked. However, we met Bridport Town Council in May 2020 to go through our plans and to agree how we would gather feedback on our proposals from the residents. Once the plans are complete, they will be submitted in planning applications, and residents will then be invited for further comment as part of that process.
Some affordable housing will be for key workers who work in the social care and health professions in the West Dorset area and some will be for people in the local area who struggle to afford to live here. A Local Lettings Plan will be developed to determine who is eligible to occupy these properties.
The government define affordable housing as 80% of market value (or market rent) and in lots of places this is still not affordable for local people. In this development, there are a few different types of housing, but our Development and Housing partners are aiming to deliver as much as possible at or as close as possible to social rents.
For keyworkers in the social care sector and people on the housing register, homes will be available at affordable rents.
In Extra Care housing and other housing with support, there are often extra things that have to be built into the service charges that bring them above social rent levels – this reflects the extra requirements around mobility standards, communal space and background housing support that people who need this type of housing often need. The target rents are still lower than ‘affordable’ rents and will be as close to social rent as possible given these extra requirements.
Adult Day Care provision replacing Fisherman’s Arms and Bridport Connect
Bridport Connect services were moved to St Andrew’s Road in summer 2018 when the building in Flood Lane closed. Dorset Council is starting a programme of improvements to day care services which builds on our response to Covid-19 as people have been unable to attend services based in buildings.
We are talking to day service providers, the people who use day services and their families, to design the development in a way that incorporates a community hub. We know there are lots of public buildings and facilities in Bridport which could be utilised and we would like to work with the local community to explore this further.
We’re interested to know your thoughts on this project and welcome your views, particularly if you’d like to live or work in one of the new types of accommodation we’re building.