We are pleased to announce that we have submitted a planning application to Winchester City Council for permission to repurpose our Moorside site and create 18 new almshouses within the envelope of the existing building. Until September of 2021, Moorside had operated as a dementia nursing home for over 25 years.
Moorside has many natural advantages as a location for supported affordable housing for older people, benefiting from easy access to the City Centre, proximity to the stunning Winnall Moors Nature Reserve and a beautiful garden. When completed, residents would be able to access our care and support offerings and our other community outreach services such as our Hand in Hand service. The location of the site means residents would be able to join the broader almshouse community and participate in, and benefit from, its own good neighbours’ network.
We are at an early stage of the development, but if planning permission can be secured, we hope to start work on site in the early summer of 2023 and complete the works within a 12-month timeframe.
At the same time, we hope to become a registered provider of social housing through a subsidiary organisation, St John’s Community Housing. We have applied to the Regulator for Social Housing for that purpose. This will give us access to Homes England grants. If St John’s Community Housing does secure registration, the proposed development on our Moorside site would be carried out through the new organisation.
Clive Cook, St John’s Chief Executive, commented: “We have embarked on a period of expansion to further build our almshouse base and add a range of vital new services for existing residents and the older people in the wider local community”.