The company celebrated the start of the development, alongside partners, on Monday 20 June 2022 with a traditional ‘turf cutting’ ceremony – which is held to mark the formal start of building works. Attendees included Councillors Liz Fairhurst and Fran Carpenter from Hampshire County Council, Councillors Jill Cleary and John Ward from New Forest District Council and Councillor Keith Craze as Mayor of New Milton Town Council.
Left to right: Simon Maggs - Hampshire County Council; Libby Eastley– Places for People; Paula Broadbent - Lovell Later Living; Clifford Kinch, Morgan Sindall Construction; Richard Knott - New Forest District Council
Places for People Living Plus is working in partnership with Lovell Later Living, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and Morgan Sindall Construction to develop this new community, which will deliver 50 one and two bedroom affordable-rent apartments by the end of 2023. Wooldridge View will offer its residents 24-hour on-site care commissioned by Hampshire County Council, including both planned and emergency care. In addition to the apartments, this community will offer residents a variety of health and wellbeing facilities.
It has aptly been named after Ian Wooldridge, who was born in New Milton and was an award-winning sports journalist. Max Wooldridge, son of Ian said: “We particularly love the name ‘Wooldridge View’ as Dad once made a TV documentary series called ‘The Wooldridge View’ - so it’s very apt. We’re all very touched by the name and thank you again.” Members of the Wooldridge family also attended the turf cutting ceremony.
The new community is being developed in the Fernhill area of New Milton and will bring much-needed extra care accommodation to people over 55 living in the area. Andy Lomas, Managing Director of Places for People Living Plus, commented: “We are thrilled to celebrate this addition to our successful extra care partnership – a collaboration that will see a total of 164 homes delivered by next year. At New Milton, as with all of our extra care communities, that means creating well-designed, sustainable, and safe homes for customers who wish to remain independent, while benefitting from care and support, when they need it.”
Wooldridge View is the fourth development between Places for People Living Plus and development partner, Lovell Later Living, with two communities already completed and a third, Spinnaker View in Gosport due for completion in Spring 2023.
Andy continued: “Our extra care communities are providing customers complete reassurance and peace of mind that they are living in a safe, self-contained yet engaging environment, while knowing they can get support and professional care, if and when they need it.”
The apartments at Wooldridge View have been designed with modern living in mind – with one- and two-bedroom apartments on offer - each featuring a contemporary kitchen, appealing living space and stylish modern bathroom with walk in shower. Each light and airy home will feature a private patio or balcony area.
Paula Broadbent, Managing Director at Lovell Later Living, commented: "We are very proud to be celebrating the ground-breaking for the Wooldridge View extra care development in New Milton, Hampshire. This is the third development we have collectively committed to delivering in partnership with Hampshire County Council and its commencement further underlines our commitment to working in each district across Hampshire to provide solutions for homes with access to caring facilities.
“We recognise how important this development is to the residents of Forest Pines and New Forest District Council. And although this has proved challenging, we knew it was important for all involved to invest in making this happen, because it was the right thing to do and will positively impact so many people’s lives for many decades to come. We look forward to completing this essential development for our partners alongside our sister company Morgan Sindall Construction and seeing residents move into their new homes and local people benefiting from the excellent lifestyle this community and its facilities - which will be open to all - will bring.”
Executive Member for Adult Services and Public Health, Councillor Liz Fairhurst, added: “This fantastic new community is the latest addition to our £45 million investment in extra care across Hampshire, designed to help ensure the accommodation needs and aspirations of our growing older population can be met.”
With the natural coastline of Barton-on-Sea and bordered by the New Forest, the busy, friendly town of New Milton is superbly located, which means that residents will be surrounded by local attractions to enjoy with family and friends. Additionally, it is set to benefit New Milton by bringing new homes and creating jobs in the local area.
Cllr Jill Cleary, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Ward Councillor for Fernhill, New Forest District Council, said: “One of the rewards of being a District Councillor is supporting the delivery of developments such as Wooldridge View for the long-term benefit of not only my own ward residents, but the residents of the New Forest District. It is fitting that the building carries the name of a highly regarded son of New Milton, as Wooldridge View will no doubt be seen as an example of excellence in supporting our residents with much needed care and accommodation over many years to come.”
Construction of the development is set to complete in Winter 2023.
Clifford Kinch, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, concluded: “We're extremely proud to be a part of this significant project which aims to improve independent living for adults in their over 50s with varying support needs in the Hampshire area.
“Building on our strategic commitment to Hampshire Country Council, our experienced team will deliver high-quality and value-for-money to help us achieve our goal of improving housing solutions for independent living.
“Later Living support is vital in any community as it provides safe homes where crucially, people can retain their independence through a carefully considered design. People are always at the heart of what we do so it's fantastic to be able to deliver that.”