Croftside Residents
Laura Facey

Member Article

Community Celebrate Plans for North East Retirement Village

People, Planet and Property company Gentoo met with residents and staff from Croftside House, Doxford Park, Sunderland, to celebrate plans for a brand new £11.6 million retirement village in the area.

Included in the plans is a state of the art extra care facility as well as 40 extra care apartments, 40 older persons apartments and 14 bungalows. The new development will create a vibrant community where residents can continue to live independently alongside their neighbours. It is the next step for Gentoo in extra care housing after the success of Cherry Tree Gardens based in Houghton-le-Spring.

Residents from Croftside House will be moving to the new development and have been involved in making decisions for their new home, including the responsibility of choosing its name. After much deliberation the residents chose Haddington Vale for the extra care building, with the neighbouring street being named Knightswood. Eliza Appleby, 94, Croftside’s longest-serving resident, explained that they based the names on Scottish golf courses to coincide with all of the street names within the Doxford Park redevelopment area.

Haddington Vale and Knightswood will include a range of communal facilities, including a hairdressers, residents lounge, games room and fully landscaped gardens, together with a specially designed Dementia Garden.

Work starting on the development comes as Sunderland City Council announce they are expecting to see a rise in over 65s to 59,500 by 2015, up from 45,500 in 2005. The new scheme takes into account standards set by HAPPI – the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation who found that good quality housing for older people in accessible neighbourhoods can bring considerable benefits to their lives. Gentoo aim to provide a ‘home for life’ and to promote independent living within community based surroundings, enabling people to access care and support tailored to meet their individual needs.

Peter Walls, Chief Executive of Gentoo said: “We all come to these junctions in life where we have to plan for the future. It is our intention to provide the best housing we can, with state of the art facilities for those who need it now and also for future generations. It will be a big change for the residents, but a change that we can all look forward to together.”

The development was part funded by the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) after Gentoo submitted a bid for funding under their 2011 – 2015 Affordable Homes Programme. Included within the bid was the Doxford Park Extra Care Scheme which was allocated a total of £1.4m.

Bill Carr, Area Manager of HCA said: “This is another welcome example of Gentoo’s continuing commitment to providing excellent homes for residents of Sunderland. The Homes and Communities Agency is delighted that our funding is helping to deliver extra care housing which will cater for the increasing demand for appropriate accommodation for older people.

A number of extra care schemes have been built in Sunderland in recent years and they have proven to be extremely popular. The extra care model of housing has been shown to improve the health of residents and allows for appropriate health care and support to be delivered to people in their own home. I wish every success to Gentoo in this latest venture and look forward to seeing the finished residential development in due course.“

The extra care apartments will be allocated in partnership with the Sunderland City Council on a needs basis, with the other properties being advertised via Choice Based Lettings.

Neil Reveley, Executive Director of Health, Housing and Adult Services, Sunderland City Council said: “We are committed to promoting independent living for older people, and Haddington Vale is another example of how we are working with partners such as Gentoo to provide this opportunity through supported accommodation.

“This new housing development is another great step forward in achieving our shared aims, with the design helping to encourage community spirit amongst the residents.”

The development is also leading the way in energy efficiency and has been rated as BREEAM Excellent. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building’s environmental performance.

Building work for the scheme is due to start on site in March 2013 with completion due mid-2014.

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Laura Facey .

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