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Residents face move as Penkridge sheltered housing site Riverside House gets an overhaul

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 26, 2014

Penkridge

Penkridge

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RESIDENTS from a Penkridge sheltered housing complex are facing being moved out of their homes to make way for a revamp - prompting concern about the future of the site.

South Staffordshire Housing Association plans to re-modernise Riverside House, in Mill Street, which has 36 one-bedroom flats for single people aged over 60.

The association announced earlier this year that it wanted to add another four homes and overhaul the 30-year-old site.

It is not yet known if the current complex will be flattened and re-built, or refurbished and developed. Bosses said residents would be supported to move into suitable alternative accommodation during the build process.

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But some Penkridge residents are concerned about the proposals as they fear it will be another "Silverdene", the former county council-run care home which closed to make way for the newly-opened Pencric supported living complex.

Speaking on behalf of residents, Pet Hughes, who lives in Wolverhampton Road, said she was concerned sheltered housing tenants might be moved out and then not brought back when it was finished.

She said: "They are worried. Some have lived in Penkridge all their lives and do not want to move away from the village."

South Staffordshire Housing Association insists residents will be able to move back.

Meanwhile, Penkridge Parish Council has written to the housing association calling on bosses to ensure the emotional well-being of residents. Chairman Councillor Sandra Chambers said: "I understand some residents will move into Pencric."

This week when the Newsletter tried to talk to Riverside House residents, the site's supported living co-ordinator Debbie Brownlie said most tenants had had meetings with the housing association and been offered alternative accommodation, which they seemed happy with.

Ursula Bennion, director of business development at South Staffordshire Housing Association, said: "We have been consulting with residents at Riverside House since October last year about the possibility of creating a new scheme to provide improved accommodation.

"Detailed designs for the new development are being finalised and pre-planning application discussions have taken place with South Staffordshire Council. A planning application will be submitted in the next few months and, depending upon the outcome, we will then make a final decision.

"If we do decide to redevelop Riverside House, all residents will continue to be given our full support to consider their temporary or permanent living options while the work is carried out. Residents will be offered the opportunity to move back to the new scheme."

Are you a resident at Riverside House? Please contact Sarah Marshall on 01785 339616.

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