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Building Better Lives - Bridport Gateway Project

We are working with developers to develop an integrated scheme including new care and housing facilities on 2 sites off South Street in Bridport.

What's happened so far

In January 2020 we signed agreements with 3 companies with solid backgrounds in providing and operating housing and nursing care to develop plans to:

  • provide accommodation for adults in need and
  • improve access between them and the rest of the town’s life and activities

This followed a procurement process carried out in accordance with national legislation, which involved discussion with competing organisations throughout the process. This process is called ‘competitive dialogue’.

The Building Better Lives team have kept Bridport Town Council and the Bridport Local Area Partnership up to date with these plans as the project has progressed, and in an update in November 2019 the Town Council was happy to note that this work was going ahead.

The current plans also incorporate views sought in discussion with key local organisations including:

  • NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • NHS Dorset Healthcare Bridport Community Hospital
  • Bridport Medical Centre

They demonstrate our intention to provide:

  • a new purpose built extra care housing scheme off Flood Lane fronting West Bay Rd, The homes are specifically designed to enable people with support needs, problems getting about and increasing frailty to continue to live as independently as possible for as long as they want to. Most of these homes should be available at affordable rent
  • a new care home with nursing at Flood Lane providing care services for people with complex nursing and dementia needs in a modern, purpose-built facilities. We need to be able to place people in this service at financially sustainable rates
  • a respite care facility that will allow people to stay for short periods of time to help give family carers a break, help prevent admission to hospital, or help people get back on their feet after a stay in hospital
  • a minimum of 25 affordable housing units at the Fishermans Arms site on South Street, some of which will be targeted for workers in care and health jobs

They were drawn up to show how our requirements can be accommodated on these sites, and the concept plans exceed our minimum requirements.

Next steps

The developers have now taken on their architect who will develop more detailed plans in discussion with key groups of people who will be using the proposed buildings. Once the developers have plans which they think will be workable, they will present them in a series of consultation events in Bridport as part as a formal planning process. We expect this to be during late summer 2020.

Bridport proposal planBridport-Proposal-plan

Both of these sites are owned by Dorset Council. We have agreed with the developer that, once they have an approved planning application which demonstrates that our requirements for housing have been met, we will sell them the land proposed for housing at an agreed price.

We will keep the land proposed for the nursing home but rent it to the developer on a long lease. Some of the beds in the nursing home will be provided through our Adult Social Care department and some will be available on the open market for private care.

Why are we doing this?

  • the number of people living with dementia in the area is likely to increase significantly in the coming years – by 74% until 2035 and Dorset Council wants to ensure there is the right kind of care in place for those people
  • Bridport lacks any extra-care accommodation for frail older people and people with disabilities. New extra care housing in Bridport will enable people to live independent lives for longer
  • there are currently limited options to enable younger adults with disabilities to move from home when they want to or to return to the local area after they have been admitted to hospital. The extra care and supported living housing will enable people to play an active role in the local community if they wish to and to live more independent lives
  • there is not enough affordable housing in the Bridport area for people in keyworker roles such as nurses and social carers. The scheme would address this.
  • we asked local providers of care and they agreed that the best option was to build something which included a care home, extra care and supported housing and a different option to meet the need of current day centre client groups

Planning permission will be sought in summer 2020. We expect work to begin on site later in the year and for the accommodation to be ready for people to move into by autumn 2022.

The developers, Shaw and Morgan Ashley, will be holding consultation events for Bridport residents during spring/summer 2020.

Here is an indication of the proposed timeline.

Bridport Care Village timeline


Frequently asked questions

Where will the highways depot go to which is currently working at the Fishermans Arms site?

Highways activity will move to land they already use just north of the Fishermans Arms site, off South Mill Lane. We are providing them with a replacement office which will be installed in April 2020, and they will move all their equipment to that land by the end of April.

Why have there not been more 'public' events to find out about the scheme?

We have been working with the Town Council and local organisations using the current facilities to define what’s required. We are now planning public drop-in sessions throughout the spring and formal consultation will be part of the planning process.

Who will be moving into the new 'affordable' housing that's planned?

Some affordable housing will be for key workers – people 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 and will determine who is eligible to occupy these properties.

Will the housing really be affordable?

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 Keyworker and general needs affordable, the homes will be 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 will are still lower than ‘affordable’ rents and will be as close to social rent as possible given these extra requirements.

When is this all going to happen?

The Developers are looking to submit formal planning applications in June 2020. Formal consultation will take place as part of the planning process. Please see timeline above.

We'll be updating these pages as more details become available, but if you have any queries, you can give us feedback.

What’s happening with Sidney Gale House?

The future of Sidney Gale House is part of ongoing discussions with Tricuro, who manage residential care homes across the county on behalf of Dorset Council. We are linking up discussions on this with our plans for the future operation of the proposed nursing home in Flood Lane and are at an early stage in those discussions.

What Adult Day Care provision will there be now that the Fishermens Arms and Bridport Connect are closed?

Bridport Connect services were moved to St Andrew’s Rd in summer 2018 when the building in Flood Lane closed, and this service is set to continue until the new service is available once the Care Village is finished.

We found from discussion with groups working in care in Bridport that the provision of day care was no longer suitable for the people they were caring for, and they did not think that a large bespoke Community Hub was necessary or affordable any longer.

What they are looking for now is to use community assets to provide day services and enable genuine community engagement and integration. We know that there are lots of public buildings and facilities in Bridport which could be better used.

While the plans are developing and the site is being built, we and the developers will be building relationships with local organisations and our health partners, and planning the provision of a range of activities in and around the Care Village designed to take the place of the previous provision in Fishermens Arms & Bridport Connect. 

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