Public’s first sight of plans for new-look Edenside

Date: Monday 8th April 2019

APPLEBY’S new Edenside extra-care housing development will involve the demolition of the old home and its replacement with a purpose-built structure.

The Oaklea Trust, the charity behind the redevelopment, held a public meeting at Appleby Hub, asking supporters for feedback on possible designs.

Oaklea chief executive Clive Wigley said: “You as a community came to us and said ‘Do something with Edenside, we don’t want to lose it’. So we want to get it right and we have invited you all tonight to see what we need to consider in the new Edenside going forward.

“We are at a point where we are saying it will be a new Edenside. The building is old and not a particularly good design and not well insulated or protected if ever there was another flood, so we have to think about this going forward.”

Around 40 people turned out for the meeting and listened to a talk by Oaklea officials as well as the newly-appointed architect for Edenside, Phil Brooks, of Day Cummins Architects, Kendal. Mr Brooks said his company had worked on several extra care housing schemes in the past and was delighted to be chosen for the Edenside redevelopment.

It will be made up of apartments which can be adapted as residents get older or their health declines, enabling them to stay in their homes.

“It means you have your own front door and that care can be brought in. We have looked at the building and looked at its past, and how it could be converted or, realistically, rebuilt to provide a new Edenside,” he added.

The trust plans to create around 16 one and two-bedroomed apartments which would have their own bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. Examples of internal layouts showed one-bedroom properties of 55m sq and two-bedroomed units of 72m sq housing an anticipated maximum of 20 residents.

The trust intends to create some communal areas such as a cafe and others that could be used for a hairdressing salon, crafts or treatments. An initial concept sketch was included which showed a large internal glass covered atrium in the centre of the building. It is also envisaged there will be garden areas for residents to enjoy.

“We have based it on our experience looking at how a scheme of that nature can go on that piece of land. What struck us is the river and views on to the park. It has a lot going for it,” said Mr Brooks.

Images presented to the meeting were a mixture of traditional and modern designs taken from extra-care housing developments both in the UK and abroad. The new building will be built around 2ft higher than the existing level and with the first 3ft of the building made flood resilient. Mr Brooks said this would mean the building could be cleaned out quickly in the event of a flood. An evacuation plan will also be in place.

Following the presentation those who attended the meeting were asked to comment on the designs. Alex Wolfenden, director and development officer with Oaklea, said the trust would collate the responses. A draft plan would be put together by the architects and they would enter pre-planning discussions with Eden Council.

Next, a formal proposal will be developed and go to planning. She added that the aim is to enter a planning application at the end of May or early June. If given the go-ahead, the build is expected to take 12 to 15 months. Mr Wigley said six people had already put their names down to live at the new Edenside and he urged anyone interested to make contact.