Background and business case
Completed in March 2018, 119 Little Lane is Wigan Council’s first Sheltered Plus housing development. The apartments offer a high-quality independent living, in a modern setting with all the support required for the changing needs of the client group.
In partnership with Willmott Dixon Construction and with funding from Homes England, this £5.29 million development offers spacious accommodation, large private balconies, whilst the building itself has fantastic communal facilities such as a visitor’s room, laundry and scooter store and large communal lounge, allowing residents to socialise in wonderful surroundings promoting social inclusion, but maintaining independence for residents. The scheme is a flag ship older persons scheme for Wigan Council.
Each individual apartment has an open plan kitchen and living room, bedroom/s and wet room bathroom as well as a large hallway. Each apartment is equipped with a warden call system which gives access to support on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This gives our residents the assurances that help is at hand should they ever need it. The system is also adaptable to meet changing client needs over time, with access to a floating support manager and domiciliary care service which can be tailored to individual needs.
The scheme itself has large communal gardens for residents to relax, partake in gardening activities, or just and enjoy the outdoors.
There scheme has three communal bathrooms. One is a standard bath for those residents who don’t require assistance, one has a fully assisted bath and hoist track, one is a large assisted wet room shower for those that require assistance showering.
We ensured the interior design was light and airy, with plenty of seating areas for socialising in smaller groups. There is also a visitor’s room for family to stay over which is bookable by the residents free of charge.
The apartments are fully lifetime homes compliant and the facilities within the building itself ensure that the residents can remain in their own home as long as possible, should their health deteriorate.
There are 33, one-bedroom apartments and 6, two-bedroom apartments all for affordable rent. The apartments are large one and two bedrooms, allowing generous individual private space. We acknowledged the importance of increasing wellbeing in the ageing population so these areas within the building that allow this were especially targeted in the design and layout.
119 Little Lane is located very close to public transport to allow residents to access amenities easily and its position at the end of a cul-de-sac means the surrounding area is quiet without passing traffic but with good pedestrian access to surrounding areas.
The building is traditional construction, which ensures optimum ability to install grab rails where necessary for residents with mobility issues and is built to robust details, ensuring there is minimal sounds transfer between apartments and communal areas. The scheme is fully lifetime homes compliant and is designed to take future hoist tracks on ceilings should they be required by the resident. Each bedroom has a knock-out panel in the wall between the bedroom and bathroom so that a connecting door can be installed in the future if necessary.
The first residents to move into the scheme have transferred from an existing sheltered scheme that was no longer fit for purpose. They are absolutely delighted with their new homes. Their previous building was not fit for purpose, so this is a huge improvement for our residents. The leader of Wigan council visited the scheme recently and pledged to build more accommodation like this in the borough.
Little Lane has replaced nearby Brackley House Sheltered scheme and the remaining residents from that scheme have now moved to their new accommodation. Former Brackley House site will be redeveloped by Wigan Council in 2020, providing 2,3 and 4 bed
family homes for affordable rent, supported by Homes England SOAHP grant.