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YoungDementia UK Homes submits planning application as part of a wider mixed housing project - bluecinema

YoungDementia UK (YDUK) Homes’ has joined forces with a community housing initiative in Charlbury, West Oxfordshire, to take forward its plans to create a pioneering supported living facility for people with young dementia.

The Rushy Bank Partnership will provide 28 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 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

The charity decided to become a partner in the Rushy Bank Partnership following some concerns raised about their initial choice of location in Charlbury during its consultation last year.

Jane Norman, Director of YoungDementia UK Homes said: “Local residents have been very supportive of our mission to create a home tailored to meet the needs of younger people with dementia, and we were confident we could address the concerns raised. When the opportunity to become part of the Rushy Bank Partnership came up, we gave this careful consideration and decided it would be beneficial to our residents to be situated within a potentially lively community hub.”

The Rushy Bank Partnership submitted their plans to West Oxfordshire Town Council Planning Department in February 2015 and a programme of public consultation is underway. The Planning Committee is expected to make a decision on the outcome of the application by mid 2015, with the facility opening in 2016.

Ian Cox, Development Advisor to the Rushy Bank Project said: “We are pleased that YoungDementia UK Homes forms part of our vision to create a sustainable housing development which will help meet the future housing needs of the region. We are looking forward to taking our plans from the drawing board to reality.”