Outline Planning Permission for an Extra Care residential scheme has been granted in rural Herefordshire, following submission of a highly sustainable Passivhaus design by Architype architects to provide up to 80 high-end apartments in Whitestone.
Commissioned by local independent developer, Collins Design and Build, the scheme hopes to address the shortage of suitable housing for older people in the county, offering residents an active and healthy lifestyle as well as high quality homes for life.
The arrangement of one, two and three bedroom homes is designed with a communal focus, promoting natural surveillance for neighbouring residents, supported by a live-in warden to aid independent living.
Passivhaus has been used to minimise energy bills, maximise daylight, and create a highly comfortable living environment. With Passivhaus design, stable temperatures and internal conditions can be achieved year round, which is often critical for the health of older people, as suggested in a recent study by PhD student, Frederico Tartarini. The timely study, which was covered in The Guardian newspaper this week is further evidence that optimal temperature and humidity contribute to better quality physical and mental health.
Residents will be able to partake in the on-site communal leisure facilities, including a swimming pool, sauna, gym, sports room, putting green, croquet green and petanque pitch. The scheme also makes potential provision for a café, shop, hair salon, craft room, medical and wellness facilities, library and IT room, to encourage social interaction, an active lifestyle and a strong sense of community.
The landscaped gardens respond to the already established trees to provide privacy for residents, who will be able to enjoy both views from their apartments over trees and ponds, as well as the physical and mental health benefits of hands-on gardening across the ten allotments.
Car parking spaces are provided as near as possible to the apartments for residents with limited mobility and to meet Lifetime Homes Standards.
The next step will be to develop a detailed design with the expert advice of specialist care providers.