CARE COMMUNITY

Giving you a choice in your care

Welcome to Hencote Continuing Care Community. A proposed £75million scheme in Shrewsbury which could establish Shropshire as a national trailblazer in social care.

THE COMMUNITY

Helping the county 

We think it’s important that people living in Shrewsbury have a choice about where they would like to live as they get older.

We want to create a community that will help the county tackle a looming crisis in care for the elderly and develop a new model of social care for Shropshire – giving our growing elderly population a genuine choice over where they spend their later years.

THE PLANS

A special place to make Shrewsbury proud:

Hencote Continuing Care Community will become a special place, where high quality design and landscape create a new neighbourhood of which Shrewsbury will be proud.

Part of the Hencote Estate, off Ellesmere Road, it will be linked and connected into the town centre by public transport and the site’s electric minibuses, so that older residents can enjoy everything that Shrewsbury has to offer, but in a safe environment with care at hand to meet their evolving needs.

We want to create an environment that respects and improves residents’ independence whilst providing on-site care and support as and when it was required by the people living here. Plans include:

 

  • 182 Extra Care and Close Care apartments and bungalows
  • 75 bed nursing home with specialist dementia unit
  • Central amenities building providing support, treatment, fitness and therapy, pool, gym, lounges, restaurant, library, cinema room, communal gardens and landscaped setting
  • Specialised graduated care as required, with domiciliary care for all

THE PROJECT

A partnership between Senescura and LifeCare Residences

LifeCare Residences Ltd has more than 40 years’ experience operating high-quality schemes in the UK and its native New Zealand. It has partnered with Senescura to develop Hencote Community Care Community, which will create 155 new jobs, bring inward investment to Shrewsbury and boost the local economy, as well as helping to transform care accommodation for the elderly in Shrewsbury and Shropshire.

FAQs

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What is the proposed scheme?

The Hencote Continuing Care Community proposal is a partnership between Senescura and LifeCare Residences.

The Hencote Continuing Care Community will provide a new solution to the social care crisis facing Shrewsbury and Shropshire — creating a specially-designed and high-quality community where older people can live independently, with dignity, in an environment that promotes their health and wellbeing. 

The scheme has been two years in development, with extensive involvement of a range of leading consultants. Every care has been taken to develop a proposal which meets an overwhelming need, promotes independence but also recognises the sensitivities on the surrounding area. 

The plans comprise:

  • 182 Extra Care and Close Care apartments and bungalows
  • 75 bed nursing home with specialist dementia unit
  • Central amenities building providing support, treatment, fitness and therapy, pool, gym, lounges, restaurant, library, cinema room, communal gardens and landscaped setting
  • Specialised graduated care as required, with domiciliary care for all

The Hencote project will deliver a new choice for residents who are considering their options in later life by providing them with access to care at a level to meet all their needs.

Why is this different to other options?

The Hencote Continuing Care Community proposal is unique to Shropshire and will help establish the county as a trailblazer in tackling the social care crisis. It builds on models which have already proved successful in other parts of the UK and overseas.

It offers domiciliary care to all residents, with staged, graduated care then meeting further needs as and when appropriate. The £75 million investment means the purpose-built community will meet the highest standards of housing with care, with an exceptional standard of communal facilities in a superb setting.

The community has been developed to cater for all needs, starting with Extra Care, with provision for Close Care where people can access managed and monitored living as their needs progress, through to a nursing home providing full care and a specialist dementia wing. 

In Shropshire there is virtually no specialist accommodation for purchase by elderly homeowners and the vast majority of all care homes were built more than 20 years ago. Very few cater to dementia care and over two thirds lack wet room facilities requiring residents to share bathrooms.

Hencote Continuing Care Community will deliver care standards that address the recent experience of the pandemic, future proofed to manage ongoing risks and including wet rooms rather than bathrooms so that residents have safer access to facilities, reducing the risk of falls and hospitalisation.

Why is it important?

Currently there are over 50,000 people over the age of 75 in the Shropshire Council area. 

Shropshire has a higher proportion of elderly people and a higher proportion in need of care than the national average. 

Independent figures point to the scale of the crisis facing the region

By 2039, 23.3% of the UK is projected to be aged 65 years or older, whereas in Shropshire Council this will be substantially greater at 32.6% — Christie & Co 

The Shropshire Care Home population is projected to increase by over 70% for the period 2019 to 2035 – Shropshire Council Adult Social Care Market Position Statement 2019 — 2022 

“Dementia is more likely to impact Shropshire than any other part of the country.” — The Shropshire Dementia Strategy 2017 – 2020 

In Shropshire, approximately 7%  per cent of over-65s have dementia; this figure is expected to increase to 7.5 %  for all people aged 65 and over by 2021. The expected increase in Shropshire is likely to be at a faster pace than the expected increase in England overall — Shropshire CCG Annual Report and Accounts 2020/2021

Five years ago, Shropshire spent 46% of its annual budget on social care. This year’s budget requires 85%. 

Private sector care delivery can assist this looming crisis. 

The conclusion from the independent, objective assessment of the need by CC/HPC (professionals experienced in undertaking this work for planning applications and appeals across the UK) is that there is a very significant current need for the range of facilities proposed at Hencote, and that need becomes even more significant when projected into the future in Shropshire. 

The Hencote Continuing Care Community will help meet the significant need and at no cost to Shropshire Council.

The plans support and complement the Council’s ‘home first’ approach, reducing NHS costs through fewer hospital admissions, shorter stays in hospital, and providing Shropshire and Shrewsbury’s older people with a choice that they currently do not have. 

Is it just a scheme for people who can afford it?

The vision of the team behind the Hencote Continuing Care Community is to develop a community where older members of society are afforded the choice to purchase specialised accommodation with care.

Shropshire boasts a high level of home ownership, and many residents can afford to make this choice if only suitable accommodation were available. As things stand, people from all parts of society are being denied this opportunity through lack of provision.

Hencote Continuing Care Community will address this lack of choice, meet a clear need and help take the pressure off social care, the NHS and public services by enabling those who can do so to afford their own care. 

HCCC offers new options for owner-occupiers in Shropshire and meets a government recognised need for specialist living accommodation for elderly people. As such it will complement and add to publicly delivered accommodation and care rather than compete with it. 

This will not just remove some of the huge burden currently facing Shropshire Council in terms of social care – and which is only set to grow as our population continues to age — but also helps release under-utilised private homes onto the market in a way that is currently not happening. 

 

The conclusion from the independent, objective assessment of the need by CC/HPC (professionals experienced in undertaking this work for planning applications and appeals across the UK) is that there is a very significant current need for the range of facilities proposed at Hencote, and that need becomes even more significant when projected into the future in Shropshire. 

The Hencote Continuing Care Community will help meet the significant need and at no cost to Shropshire Council.

The plans support and complement the Council’s ‘home first’ approach, reducing NHS costs through fewer hospital admissions, shorter stays in hospital, and providing Shropshire and Shrewsbury’s older people with a choice that they currently do not have. 

The exemplary standards and focus on independent living and wellbeing at HCCC will give older homeowners an attractive new choice with regards to accommodation. This will help prevent the current problem of people remaining in their large family homes as they grow older because they do not see any other attractive choice.

Why this site?

Hencote is conveniently located on the urban fringe of Shrewsbury and alongside arterial routes providing very good transport links. It is located on a direct route into Shrewsbury and is within easy reach of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and other facilities and next to a proposed major new housing development, reflecting the suitability of this location for new development.

Its accessibility and its sustainable location on the edge of the present urban area within the line of the North West Relief Road, on a key radial route (also a public transport corridor), make it highly suitable for the delivery of a Continuing Care Community.

Importantly, sites like this requires significant space for recreational purposes which makes these development typically economically unattractive to large house build groups. Unsurprisingly, there are not sites specifically allocated for this type of development in either current or emerging Local Plan policy, leaving the need for specialised owner-occupied accommodation with staged access to care unmet in Shropshire.  

The site is currently very poor grade land and largely made up of spoil generated during the Victorian expansion of Shrewsbury and as such has little agricultural value.

It is compact enough to foster a real community spirit, but large enough to ensure all the necessary facilities are on hand. It will offer a lifestyle steeped in the best that Shrewsbury can offer to a generation of people who want to make the most of their old age. 

This is the ideal location to offer a new vision and new choice for social care for our growing elderly population.

Will it bring any benefits to local people and the economy?

For the first time in Shropshire, this scheme will bring the choice of specialised accommodation with care to meet the identified local need – a need which is not currently being met.  

This need is already being met in other parts of the UK – neighbouring Cheshire for example – but not yet in Shropshire.  

It will also generate approximately 155 permanent full-time equivalent jobs, with many of these roles being take up by local people. 

Hencote will bring around £75million of inward investment into the Shrewsbury and Shropshire economy.

The construction stage will generate 460 jobs and new business into the local economy.

The completed scheme will benefit the local economy by over £4million/year in wages alone and Hencote will generate significant Council Tax revenue to the local authority of circa £200,000 per annum.

Won’t this add to traffic and congestion on the Ellesmere Road?

Unlike a housing scheme, this type of development does not generate peak hour traffic, as there are no work or school journeys for the residents.

The consultants retained, who have ample experience working on other projects like this in the South of England, have demonstrated that Extra Care Communities like these do not significantly to local traffic volumes. Respected consultants Paul Basham Associates have assessed the traffic and highways aspects – having first agreed their assessment approach with Shropshire Council’s transport adviser.

An electric minibus will provide regular trips to the town centre to support residents and reduce their amount of driving, as well as taking them shopping and on other trips.

Ellesmere Road will also benefit from the construction of a pelican crossing opposite the entrance to the Hencote estate and enhanced footway onto Hencote Lane to improve safety for visitors and residents.

Is the development on private or public land and will it spoil the Shrewsbury landscape?

The site is privately owned with no public access across the estate itself.

A detailed assessment has been completed, which determined that much of the development will not be visible from the southern aspect and the development has been designed to be sympathetic to the existing location and nearby homes.

The site is generally south facing, with a series of plateaus and bowls set into the topography, which enables a sensitive development to be accommodated. A detailed landscape and visual assessment has been undertaken, including an appraisal of potential visibility across a wide area. This is agreed by Shropshire Council’s landscape adviser. 

The Council’s landscape consultant ESP, commented that: 

With respect to visual effects, the low visibility of the proposal site from the surrounding area is noted, and the selection of viewpoint locations appears appropriate.”  

Buildings have been designed to blend with the landscape, incorporating split-level designs to sit within and step down the hillside, minimising any effects on the skyline.

The visual assessment, therefore, concludes that while there will be views and glimpses of the new buildings from these limited areas, the presence of intervening vegetation and general lack of public access will reduce the potential for any significant adverse visual effects.  

Shropshire Council’s landscape adviser has confirmed as follows: 

“Although 2 significant visual effects remain at 15 years with mitigation in place, these are localised to visual receptors to the east of the site, and on balance with the reduction of visual and landscape effects in the round and the predicted beneficial landscape effects, I am happy that the proposed development complies with Local Plan policy on landscape and visual matters. 

 

 

Will access rights in the area be affected?

No. This scheme will not change any existing access rights in the area in any way, shape or form.

 

Indeed, the addition of a new pelican crossing on Ellesmere Road and improved footpath access onto Hencote Lane will improve access.

What about the wildlife and environmental impact of a project like this?

Hencote is committed to respecting the environment — and our history on the Hencote Estate is always one of encouraging biodiversity.

 

The objective for this project is to provide at least a 10% increase in biodiversity across the site. 

 

This will include:

  • new water bodies
  • new orchards
  • new lengths of hedgerow 
  • enhancement of existing hedgerows 
  • extensive new tree planting 
  • grassland and meadow 
  • formal landscaped areas and ornamental gardens with species that are ecologically beneficial
  • protected home for Great Crested Newts

Communal gardens will further enhance the area, which is currently low-grade land unsuitable for agriculture, attracting still more wildlife and biodiversity. 

The woodland to the south of the site is designated as a Local Wildlife Site. The scheme does not affect it or reduce it, rather increases its value by introducing ongoing nature conservation management.  The ecology assessment shows that we have no adverse effects on the SSSI east of Ellesmere Road or the beaver habitat scheme.

A detailed season ecology and habitat appraisal of the site and wider area has been undertaken, providing a comprehensive understanding of the ecology across the estate.

This has enabled sensitive areas to be avoided, retained, and protected. It has also informed the preparation of an ecology and habitat management plan, including new habitat creation to achieve at least a 10% bio-diversity enhancement across the site. 

The landscape strategy for the site seeks to visually integrate the development into its setting as well as providing attractive useable spaces for residents.   

The associated vineyard has a record of minimum use of pesticides and this policy will be continued to ensure that biodiversity increases across the estate. 

Shropshire Council’s tree officer has confirmed that there are no objections.  So too have the Archaeology and Heritage consultees.  Drainage has also been agreed and our Our ecology assessment has been agreed by Shropshire Council’s ecologist. 

 

What is the timescale of the project?

A planning application is now before Shropshire Council and we hope to get permission in the next two months. Work will then start on construction and infrastructure improvements.

What will the impact be on the NHS?

Costs to both the NHS and to local social care associated with unnecessary admissions to hospital are significant and increasing as the population ages. 

This is particularly the case in Shropshire with its older population profile, and it is getting worse. 

The 2011 Census showed 63,400 people aged 65 years and over living in Shropshire. This represents an increase of 23.8 per cent between 2001 and 2011. Shropshire has experienced significantly higher growth in this age group than nationally (10.9 per cent) and regionally (12.6 per cent). 

In 2017, following a community services review, Shropshire CCG commenced a large-scale review and transformation of community-based services with a view to making the necessary changes to the overall system that are required to better deliver preventative care and support, and services closer to home. This was underpinned by the principles of keeping people as well as possible, for as long as possible in their own home or community environment and minimising the need for a hospital admission/” — Shropshire CCG Annual Report and Accounts 2020/2021 

A study by Aston University found that hospital admissions were less frequent, and average hospital stays significantly shorter among residents in retirement villages and housing with care. 

The average length of hospital stay for non-retirement village residents is 8 to 14 days. 

The figure for a retirement village resident is up to 2 days. 

 

The more substantial package of support offered by Continuing Care Communities like Hencote, will only enhance these significant local benefits.

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