IN THE Property Press of July 17, a feature about Spire View in Pickering noted that the architect for the scheme was originally from New Zealand. The architect was in fact ourselves, Bramhall Blenkharn, from Malton.
The scheme has won numerous awards for its innovative approach to elderly living. It was one of 24 projects featured in a government report entitled HAPPI, Housing our Ageing Population, and cited as an excellent model.
With the number of people aged over 60 projected to increase by seven million over the next 25 years, the lack of quality homes for older people is a real concern. If we are to achieve a balanced society, then we need to create places where people of all ages live, work and play in close proximity.
If people are forced to leave their own homes, frequently they move into large residential blocks, cut off from society. Typically, such blocks are three storeys high and accommodate around 50 or 60 couples or singles. There is no sense of belonging. People often feel trapped and remote.
The blocks are built this way largely for economic reasons, rather than creating a pleasant environment.
How refreshing it would be to see smaller developments next to shops, libraries, community facilities and other housing.
Unfortunately, current government thinking seems to indicate that such legislation may be curtailed, and housing left to a market force to determine.
Ric Blenkharn, Bramhall Blenkharn, Malton.