Conservative Commitment to helping the Vulnerable

Plans to redevelop the former Fosters Care Home in Woodley are gathering pace, and this week local residents will have the chance to view proposals for an extra care housing scheme on the site.

Whilst the highest standard of care and support was provided at the former Fosters Care Home, the building was not fit for purpose so Wokingham Borough Council took the difficult decision in 2012 to close it. However it made a commitment to retain the site for older people’s accommodation. And earlier this year, the council’s decision-making executive agreed to redevelop the site as an extra care housing scheme for older people.

Wokingham Borough Council has selected its housing company Wokingham Housing Limited as its development partner. Subject to planning permission, it would build the £5 million scheme on behalf of the council. Care for the residents would be provided by the council’s social care company Optalis.

The council and its partners are holding an information drop-in session about the proposals on Thursday June 26 between 3pm and 7pm at Woodley Library, Headley Road, Woodley. It will be a chance for the wider community, and those who live within the immediate area, to talk to members of the project team in more detail and view the scheme’s proposals.

Extra care housing supports people to live independently for as long as possible. The proposals consist of 34 self-contained flats, all with a private balcony or ground floor terrace, designed to suit the needs of older people. There would also be communal facilities such as a lounge and dining room, as well as a specialist dementia facility. 

Extra care housing gives people the security and privacy of their own home, with additional facilities on the premises and care and support staff available when needed. 

Wokingham Borough’s older population is set to increase during the coming years and the borough council must prepare now for the demands this will inevitably be placed on its services, as well as be able to give people a choice of how and where they want to live.

Stuart Rowbotham, director of health and wellbeing, said: “We’re pleased to present our proposals for an extra care housing scheme on the former Fosters site. If planning permission is granted it would allow people to continue living independently in a safe and homely community with flexible care services.

“Extra care provides an opportunity to live independently in your own home while receiving necessary support and care24 hours a day, providing people with peace of mind that help is available when it’s needed.

“We made a commitment to retain older people’s accommodation on the site at Fosters. Our proposals mean older people in Woodley can remain in the community they’re familiar with, and close to their family and friends. We hope as many people as possible will take some time to call in and see us at Woodley Library, to find out more about our scheme.”

A planning application is due to be submitted in the coming weeks and more details about the application will be available at the drop-in session.

Demolition of the former Fosters Care Home building is due to start in the next few weeks and is expected to last for eight weeks. The council and its partners will be working hard to minimise any disruption to the community and apologise in advance for any inconvenience it may cause during this time.