Unoccupied Shoreham sheltered housing could be knocked down and rebuilt

Unoccupied sheltered housing in Shoreham could be knocked down to make way for replacement homes.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 2:07 pm

Ashcroft in Kingston Lane consists of a block of 21 flats and eight bungalows and has been offered to council tenants since 1982.

However serious issues were identified during an initial fire risk assessment and all residents were moved out in early 2020 to allow for further more detailed work.

A report concluded that risk to life from fire at the premises was ‘substantial’ and the main building could not be occupied until a number of issues had been addressed.

Ashcroft sheltered accommodation (Photo from Google Maps Street View)

Adur District Council has been weighing up options including refurbishment as well as a full demolition and rebuild.

Officers’ preferred option is to demolish the main building and replace it with a new block containing 43 flats, with a proportion designed for wheelchair users with common areas, lifts and car parking.

The bungalows would be retained but improved to increase energy efficiency and new kitchens and bathrooms provided where necessary.

All residents of the decanted block would be offered a return.

The project is due to be discussed by the council’s joint strategic committee next Tuesday (July 13).

As a result of the need to remove ‘inner rooms’ and provide a safe exit in event of a fire, in each refurbishment scenario the building would need to be modified to provide a reduced number of units.

However the new build option would significantly increase the number of homes on site.

The extra homes for socially rented retirement accommodation would also address under-occupation of council housing stock by making larger homes available for families on the housing register.

The total cost of the preferred option is around £11million, or £220,000 per unit. The cost of the project would be borne by borrowing against the Housing Revenue Account, with the project eligible for Homes England grant funding for affordable housing.

In addition, a bid has been made for a £407,000 grant to fund the enabling works from One Public Estate’s Brownfield Land Release Fund.