CONSTRUCTION work is about to start on a £6.1m project to create dedicated new homes for older people in York.

Regency Mews in St Helen's Road, Dringhouses, has been designed for people living with dementia and for those who need assisted living services, and will start to take shape from this month.

The scheme will see a further 17 extra care and eight dementia care studio flats, all en-suite, created within a 2,500m2 new-build annex.

York Press:

The new homes will be next to the grounds of The Abbeyfield York Society's existing and fully-occupied extra care and sheltered housing scheme, Abbeyfield House, in Regency Mews.

Personal care, catering and pastoral services will be provided from established facilities within Abbeyfield House, and new communal spaces, including lounges, dining rooms, and multi‐function hobby and meeting rooms form a key part of the design.

Outside, a dementia‐friendly garden and an extra care garden are central to the overall build, and there will also be a courtyard garden between both buildings, which will provide a sheltered green space for residents and their visitors to enjoy.

Caroline Newnham, from the Society, which provides residential care and support to older people, said: “There is a real lack of suitable accommodation for older people across York and with an ageing population both regionally and nationally, this shortage will only continue to increase.

“We have been successfully operating our extra care and sheltered housing schemes in York for over 50 years.

"By purchasing and developing this parcel of land next door, we can expand our offering by incorporating a purpose-built new annex of 25 homes adjacent to Abbeyfield House in this predominantly residential neighbourhood.

“This welcome development will help to ease some of the shortage of suitable residential accommodation for older people in York and the homes will be available on a social rented and market sale basis.”

Mark Henderson, from Brewster Bye Architects, which designed the scheme, said: “Having already worked with Abbeyfield on Fern House, one of the UK’s most advanced extra care and dementia centres, close to Bingley town centre, we thoroughly understand how to deliver the very best homes for older people with dementia and those that need extra support.

“Incorporating ‘HAPPI’ design principles, which include maximizing seating areas, and creating ample communal and shared facilities, as well as a strong connection with the outdoors, we have been very mindful of the dementia care requirements for this project.

"We have also consulted with the University of Stirling’s dementia design audit tool to inform the design of both the individual flats and communal spaces.”

Mark said accessibility had been at the core of the design.

“For the building and landscaping to be a success, it has to be fully accessible to all residents including those in wheelchairs.

"We have designed a circular route from the main building entrance, taking in the existing building. There will also be a number of landscaped focal points and habitats alongside the path, which will add interest and encourage residents to enjoy the outdoor space.

"Clearly defined boundaries help impart a sense of security to the scheme, creating a safe place that is multi-sensory and appealing to live in.”

Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire is carrying out the construction work, which is due to completed by the summer of 2023.