'Financially unviable' retirement apartments to be replaced with affordable homes

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The board of Peaks & Plains Housing Trust have taken the decision to close a block of 32 apartments, built in 1974 for 55s and over in Alderley Edge.

The decision to close Holmfield on Carlisle Street was taken at a board meeting on 26th April, following consultation meetings with residents.

The following day, the Trust's CEO, Mark Howden, and Head of Customer Experience, David Squires met with the 21 existing residents to explain the decision and to outline the package of support they will be made available to them. They were joined by Councillor Mike Dudley-Jones, Chair of Alderley Edge Parish Council.

David Squires, Head of Customer Experience at Peaks & Plains Housing Trust commented "We are already working closely with residents to understand their housing needs and to help them find suitable new homes. It's a priority for us. We're confident, that with close support from our partners at Cheshire East, we can work with residents and their families to resettle the residents at Holmfield into alternative homes that are appropriate for their needs."

A spokesperson from Peaks & Plains added: "The decision to close the scheme was based on the cost of necessary future compliance and repair work on these homes. This work would have made the scheme financially unviable. In addition, demand for these small and outdated flats at Holmfield is low, while the demand for modern efficient affordable homes in the areas is high.

"Peaks & Plains Housing Trust plans to continue to work with interested local partners to redevelop this site in Alderley Edge to build these much-needed affordable homes. Peaks & Plains has no plans to close any of its other sheltered schemes."

Tags:
Carlisle Street, Peaks and Plains
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

David Carey
Thursday 19th May 2022 at 6:26 am
Affordable homes in Alderley Edge yea right! and the cost of these so called affordable homes in a village like Alderley?
Interested local partners I wonder who that could be anyone want to hazard a guess?
Peaks and Plains has no plans to close any of its other sheltered schemes...
Not quite just yet, let them run right down first ....
Jon Williams
Thursday 19th May 2022 at 8:12 am
According to the UK government's Definitions of general housing terms: Affordable housing is social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined by local incomes and local house prices.
Alan Brough
Thursday 19th May 2022 at 12:46 pm
For the avoidance of doubt, could Craig please define exactly what "Affordable Housing" means in the context of this article?

Also, what provision is CE making to meet the urgent need for Elderley / Care accomodation in the face of the current crisis in Elderly Care and the future demands of an ageing population?
Craig Browne
Thursday 19th May 2022 at 5:56 pm
Hi Alan,

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to answer in advance of a planning application being submitted by Peaks & Plains Housing Trust (the owners of the site). Like most local authorities, Cheshire East Council no longer has a housing stock of its own, but seeks to ensure that affordable housing is delivered as part of private developments, with the affordable units managed through Registered Housing Providers (typically housing associations such as Peaks & Plains, Great Places, Plus Dane etc).

The Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy sets out a requirement that of the affordable housing provision, 65% should be affordable (or social) rent and the other 35% intermediate tenure. Intermediate tenure usually means either available to purchase at a discount to the market price (*); or some kind of shared ownership scheme, where the Registered Housing Provider continues to own a share of the property. The extent of the discount to market percentage can vary from place to place and development to development.

The Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy also sets out a requirement for Local Service Centres (such as Alderley Edge) that on developments of 11 or more dwellings, at least 30% of the units must be affordable. I understand that, because this site is already owned by a Registered Housing Provider, the intention is that 100% of the new units will be affordable; however, as I have said above, we will have to wait and see what Peaks & Plains bring forward over the course of the next 18 months.

Kind regards,
Craig

(*) the discount to market percentage is fixed through a legal agreement; for example, if the property is first offered at (say) 50% off the market price, it can only ever be sold on at 50% of the future market price with the intention being that the property remains affordable.