A development of 35 apartments on Ascot Way has now officially been completed by the council. It offers older residents “high-quality apartments where they can live independently and well”.
Opening Lincoln Court is the latest phase of City of York Council’s Older Persons Accommodation Programme and the apartments are available for new and returning tenants. The council will be operating a local lettings system which will enable tenants in the west of the city to downsize into these bright modern homes.
The £3.4 million project offers 15 new build and 20 completely refurbished one-bedroomed apartments.
All the generously-sized homes are available for social rent by eligible people aged 60 and over or who have a specific need for this type of accommodation. This is the council’s first independent living community extension designed specifically to meet the needs of wheelchair users.
The development has a large communal lounge, meeting rooms and a salon which people living in or outside the scheme can use, and it has a communal kitchen where residents can prepare meals and enjoy them in company if they choose. A new guest suite for visiting family and friends of tenants will help maintain family links. All of these facilities will be available along with a range of social activities once restrictions on their use and socialising in groups are lifted.
Facilities include two on-site laundries and a buggy store, there is a good choice of shops, cafes, health facilities and parks nearby. Lincoln Court’s newly landscaped gardens are next to the open spaces of historic Hob Moor nature reserve which is overlooked by the new balconies on the first and second floors.
It seems that completion of work at both the new disabled centre and a remodelled Lincoln Court will shortly be competed. The builders equipment is being removed and the compound on the school land and the MUGA are almost clear.
The has been no recent update from the York Council on when they expect the communal housing, self build, health centre, older persons accommodation, public buildings and community facilities on their Lowfield development to be completed (or even in most cases started!)
As well as the much-publicised delays in re-letting empty Council homes, it seems that the pandemic has also resulted in delays in modernisation plans.
The “tenants’ choice” programme (bathrooms, kitchens etc.) was to have seen 294 properties upgraded this year. The Councils contractors were confident they could achieve that number.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a larger than expected number of tenants are currently declining to have the work done. According to a Council report tenants are declining the work due to” nervousness relating to the pandemic, ill health, or their inability to be able to cope with the disturbance such works would inevitably cause”.
More worrying news; work on fire safety improvements has halted. £2.2 million scheduled to be invested this year is being slipped into next year.
On a more positive note, the Councils shared ownership programme is going well. 34 properties have been acquired with several now being occupied by “key workers”. This is the project where residents identify a property available for sale which is then jointly purchased. The occupants then pay rent on part of the property while it remains in Council ownership.
Some of the 79 homes on which work has started at Lowfields, have been taken up on a shared ownership basis.
Over £7 million which was to have been invested in social housing in the City during the current year is being slipped into 21/22.
We asked 4 weeks ago what had happened to the promised replacement for the children’s games area on Kingsway West.
The area is currently being used as a building compound. The contractor was beginning tt remove storage containers from the area today although work on Lincoln Court and the new centre for the disabled won’t be completed for a few weeks at least (it is running behind schedule with COVID partly to blame according to the Council).
A response to a Freedom of Information request was due today but the Council now says that they can’t reply before 3rd Ocotober.
The enquiry resulted from a promise made on 18th March 2019 when the Council’s Executive agreed to provide a replacement for the Kingsway West Multi User Games Area (MUGA) which has been taken out of use as part of the project to extend Lincoln Court.
The minute read; “a ii) To note that in approving Option 1 a commitment is made for alternative recreational facilities following community consultation including Sport England within Westfield Ward in mitigation for the loss of the Multi Use Games Area. The alternative facilities provided are to be agreed by Executive and will be subject to a further report and budget approval.”
18 months later and there has been no further word from the Council on how the replacement plan is going.
Building work on the new Centre for the Disabled on Ascot Way seems to be progressing more quickly now. Cladding has been added to the building frontage. The adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation also now sports a new entrance lobby.
Work can’t be completed sooner enough for the neighbours. As well as disruptions cause by deliveries the bus shelter has been out of action while the nearby public noticeboard was damaged during building works. Both need to be renewed when the project is completed.
Elsewhere inevitable problems with bushes obstructing paths have been exacerbated by recent weather conditions
It looks like work on the new Children’s Disabled centre and the renovation and extension of Lincoln Court sheltered housing could be completed by the October target date. The internal road system has been surfaced over the last few days. This is usually a sign that work is well advanced.
At a minimum it should mean that there will be less mud on local roads
Neighbours will be looking forward to getting the new bus lay-by into operation following 12 months of disruption.
However there is still a lot to do. The public noticeboard was damaged by contractors needs to be replaced. What is left of the noticeboard is currently attached to a perimeter fence.
…and the long saga of providing a replacement games area for local children still seems to be stalled.
On the 18th March 2019 the Council’s Executive agreed to provide a replacement for the Kingsway West “Multi User Games Area” (MUGA) which has been closed as part of the project to extend Lincoln Court.
The minute of the meeting read; “a ii) To note that in approving Option 1 a commitment is made for alternative recreational facilities following community consultation including Sport England within Westfield Ward in mitigation for the loss of the Multi Use Games Area. The alternative facilities provided are to be agreed by Executive and will be subject to a further report and budget approval.”
Nothing more has been heard about the plan. Residents hoped that an all weather area might be provided on Thanet Road but nothing seems to have come of this as yet.
The Council has today announced the name of the new centre
Innonvative new facility for children with disabilities buzzes with a new name
An innovative facility for children with disabilities in York has got a new name, thanks to the young people who will use it.
‘The Beehive’, as the Centre of Excellence for disabled children will now be known, will provide short overnight breaks for children with complex disabilities in the city. Young people and their families will be able to receive specialist support from a wide range of professionals, including clinical psychologists, all in one building for the first time.
The ‘bee theme’ will flow throughout the new facility, including bee-friendly names for the bedroom areas and honeycomb-like hexagons incorporated into the decorative features. Children and young people using the facility will also be given a fluffy bee toy to take home with them as a visual reminder of their ‘home away from home’.
It’s hoped that this attention to detail will help the children settle into the new building more easily, something which is particularly important for young people with learning disabilities or autism.
Thought to be one of the first facilities of its kind in the country, the innovative building is a partnership between City of York Council and NHS England.
The new centre is due to open this year and includes:
spacious bedrooms with state of the art hoist and bathing facilities for children who have complex health needs and wheelchair users
a larger, open-spaced area and bedrooms for children with learning disabilities or autism
quieter self-contained areas that can be used for children who may struggle in a more open, busier environment and where their parents can accompany them so that their needs can be fully assessed
an activity area, sensory room and quiet rooms
a large outdoor play space with a variety of equipment suitable for children of all abilities
Builders have closed Ascot Way forcing a bus diversion. The road has been closed by builders working on the Lincoln Court/Windsor House site.
A pedestrian route has been maintained but vehicles including buses and cyclists face a detour.
The Council had previously claimed that the Centre for the Disabled, being built on the site of the former Windsor House home, would be completed in June. Work on this project, and the adjacent upgrade of the Lincoln Court apartments , looks to be some way from completion.
The Kingsway area has had more than its fair share of disruption in recent years. There is only one access road open and it has born the brunt of heavy vehicle operations. First there was the Hob Stone development – which dragged on for three years, then the Council development in Newbury Avenue to be quickly followed by the work now going on in Ascot Way.
Local residents are looking forward to the end of the disruption, the restoration of lost amenities plus urgently needed repairs to roads.
The Council has changed its forecast completion date for the Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children which is currently being built on Ascot Way. They originally forecast an (unlikely) opening date of June. They have now revised this to October.
The Council says that the facility “will provide short breaks for young people with disabilities in a purpose built facility and also expand the service support offer in the community and assist in reducing the need for out of authority placements by providing much more flexible provision in the city“
Work on upgrading the adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation units had stalled during the Coronavirus lock-down. No opening date has been given for reoccupation of the building although this may be influenced by the continuing work on the adjacent site. The refurbishment involves the creation of 15 new fully wheelchair accessible properties and 20 fully refurbished apartments.
We are still waiting to hear when work on the replacement for the all weather play area (MUGA) will start!