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YoungDementia UK Homes re-submits its planning application for a supported living facility in West Oxfordshire - bluecinema

In August 2015 YoungDementia UK (YDUK) Homes’ re-submitted its plans to build a pioneering supported living facility for people with young dementia. The development is set to be part of a community-led housing scheme in Charlbury, West Oxfordshire.

The Rushy Bank Partnership will provide 25 homes for families and young couples from the locality through a mix of shared ownership, affordable rent and private housing. YDUK Homes’ facility will provide affordable accommodation for 12 residents and facilities for YoungDementia UK and other community partners to host events and meetings.

The Partnership originally submitted its plans in February 2015. Our application was considered for information only at the Uplands Planning Sub-Committee in June and the Rushy Bank Partnership agreed to withdraw the application so we could make changes that would address the concerns raised during the public consultation.

Key changes include a reduction in the number of houses that will be built on the development site; the creation of a dedicated route to the railway station from the site; more use of natural stone in keeping with local architecture and a greater emphasis on creating appealing habits in and around the site to support wildlife.

The development site is immediately west of the station and there is potential for direct access. It also borders woodland, an industrial estate and nursery. The land, owned by the Cornbury Estate, was earmarked for employment use in a 2011 Local Plan. The site fits all the charity’s criteria, being within easy reach of the town and various amenities, such as shops and a GP surgery.

There are over 600 people in Oxfordshire with young onset dementia and over 150 of these require specialist residential support – a fifth of these live in West Oxfordshire. Currently, when people with young onset dementia are no longer able to live at home, there is little alternative but to move into a care home, which can be detrimental to their general wellbeing.

Applications for places from people with young onset dementia from Charlbury and West Oxfordshire will be prioritised, but people from further afield will also be considered, for example if they are looking to move closer to relatives in the area.

Homes’ facility will provide a ‘home from home’ for people with young onset dementia, where they will be supported to live as independently as possible. Residents will live in their own one or two bed apartments, with round the clock supervision from a team of specialist staff. They will benefit from a programme of support ranging from help with personal care, to help to take part in sports and hobbies, as well as participate in activities and volunteering in the local community.

Geoff Shepherd, Chairman of YoungDementia UK Homes said: “Our planned supported living facility will make a huge difference to the quality of life of people with young onset dementia and their families. We hope that it will act as a blueprint for supported living accommodation for people with young onset dementia across the country”.

Home’s facility fits into the contours of the development site and faces the main block of residential units. The two storey design has been created by Oxford Architects in line with best practice in dementia-friendly environments. Natural light is maximised, and signage and interior design will enhance way-finding.

To view the plans please visit West Oxfordshire District Council’s website.

Jane Norman, Director of YoungDementia UK Homes said: “We envisage that Charlbury could become recognised as an examplar of dementia-friendly living in the UK and that our facility could enhance and build on the strong sense of community which is evident in the town”

The Rushy Bank Partnership resubmitted their plans to West Oxfordshire Town Council Planning Department in September 2015 and continue to talk to local people about their plans. The Planning Committee is expected to make a decision on the outcome of the application by November 2015, with the facility opening in 2017.