New Extra Care development commemorates forces heroes

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Posted 13 November 2020

A new Housing 21 development for people over 55, under construction on the former Eden Community Primary School land in Peterlee, is to be named in honour of forces veterans.

Poppy Dene will provide 71 one and two bedroomed apartments for affordable rent and will also offer older people a range of services and facilities, including a 24 hour on-site care team for those who need it, a café/bistro, hair salon and communal lounge - which will also be available to the local community, subject to government guidelines on opening.

The new Extra Care Living scheme, north of Robson Avenue, is being developed by Vistry Partnerships North East, in partnership with Housing 21 and Durham County Council. It is expected to be completed during the winter of 2021/2022.

Housing 21 began its life as the Royal British Legion Housing Association which, in 1921, began to house disabled ex-servicemen and widows and, later, older ex-servicemen and women. In 1992, Housing 21 was formed and began offering housing to all older people, whether they had a service background or not.

The name ‘Poppy Dene’ will also give a nod to the history of the organisation behind the new Extra Care scheme.

Claire Charlton, Head of Extra Care at Housing 21 said: “We are honoured to be able to name this scheme after the heroes of our past. It seems fitting, this November, to commemorate the incredible people who gave their lives to defend our freedom.

“At Housing 21, we are very proud of our roots, and we are very lucky to house residents who have served in the armed forces, or during times of conflict. We now house people from all backgrounds, whether servicemen or not and we know there will be many great people in the community of Peterlee who would benefit from living in this new Extra Care Living development, Poppy Dene, when it opens.”

Cllr Kevin Shaw, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “Providing safe, high quality homes where older people can live independent lives in the heart of our communities is a key priority for us and so I am delighted to see this vacant site being developed for that purpose.

“At a time when the sacrifices made by servicemen and women are at the forefront of our minds, it is both considerate and dignified that Poppy Dene has been chosen as the name of this development. I’m sure this will resonate with the development’s future residents and the people of Peterlee, especially those who have served in the Armed Forces or have lived through periods of conflict.”

Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry Partnerships North East, added: “Working with housing provider partners we are increasingly improving the quality and choice of homes for older people across the region.

“We are particularly pleased to be developing this facility with Housing 21 and the selection of the name, close to Remembrance day is a fitting tribute to the organisation, its links to the Royal British Legion and those for whom it provides homes.”

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