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Care UK receive approval from planners for first of ten proposed new care homes

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Care UK’s expansion plans in Suffolk have taken a step further as planner approved the first of ten new proposed homes.

A state-of-the-art new Ipswich care home for older people and a wellbeing centre which will offer day care clubs and activities for older people who live independently in the wider community have been granted planning approval by Ipswich Borough Council.

Care UK Aster Road Proposal

The new home and adjacent wellbeing centre will be built on the site of the former Chantry Infant School in Aster Road in Ipswich, which was demolished when the school moved to the adjacent primary school site.

The new care home, which will accommodate 80 residents and will provide nursing as well as residential care, was given the green light at Ipswich Borough Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee.

Chris Hopkinson, Regional Operations Director, Care UK, said: “We are very pleased to get the go ahead to develop our first new care home and wellbeing centre in Ipswich, which is the first in a carefully coordinated and phased investment programme which will help meet the increasing demand for modern older people’s care including specialist dementia services.”

Care UK’s construction partner for the new build will be Castleoak, a highly regarded company that works exclusively in the care sector.

Mel Knight, Castleoak Group Chief Executive, said: “Now that we have secured the first planning permission, we are looking forward to starting work at Aster Road later this year on a home which will offer local people a great caring environment in which to live and work.”

The design of the new care home, which will provide nursing care and specialist dementia care services, is spacious, light and airy, with many communal areas for residents to meet with family, friends and fellow residents. The generously sized bedrooms are all ensuite with shower facilities and to give a homely feel, small groups of residents will share their own dining room and lounge. The new home also has a garden and sitting out area and attractive facilities including a café and hairdressers on the ground floor and small cinema on the upper floor.

The wellbeing centre will provide day care activities and clubs which will help older people to maintain their independence for longer in their own homes and give valuable respite services for family carers.

The planning approval for the new care home in Aster Road is the first successful application in what will be a carefully coordinated and phased £60 million investment programme by Care UK in ten new care homes and ten wellbeing centres in the county between now and 2016.

On 1st December 2012 it took over responsibility for Suffolk County Council’s existing sixteen residential care homes and eight wellbeing centres, welcoming over 500 residents including those in Ipswich from the nearby Hawthorn Drive residential home and from Crabbe Street and Sidegate Lane. At the same time over 900 former Suffolk County Council employees transferred on their existing terms to be part of the Care UK team.

Cllr Noble, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care at Suffolk County Council said: This is the first step in realising the vision we developed with Care UK for the future of residential care in the county. Care UK has a proven track record of delivering high quality care in state of the art facilities – this is what I want for Suffolk people.”

Residents of the nearby Hawthorn Drive will have choices, including the option to move into the bespoke new home, which is scheduled to open in June 2014 and after which Hawthorn Drive will close. By 2016 the new homes and wellbeing centres will replace all Suffolk County Council’s former homes and wellbeing centres which date mainly from the 1960s and 1970s.

Care UK is also looking at a number of sites in Ipswich for a second bespoke new home which, once built, the residents of Sidegate Lane and Crabbe Street care homes will have the choice to move into.

In Hadleigh, the residents of Angel Court will have choices, including the option to move into the new care home in Aster Road, Ipswich, when it opens, after which Angel Court will close.

Source: Care UK

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