Vi­sion for almshouses

Plans to mod­ernise and ex­tend char­ity’s homes

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

NEIGH­BOURS of one of Uxbridge’s most hid­den – but most needed – build­ings will be in­vited in next month to have their say on its fu­ture.

As well as en­joy­ing a cup of tea, vis­i­tors to Wood­bridge House, the almshouse ac­com­mo­da­tion be­long­ing to the Uxbridge United Wel­fare Trusts, will be asked to com­ment on plans for its re­de­vel­op­ment.

The char­ity’s trustees want ev­ery­one liv­ing in the roads around the build­ing, which is set back from New Wind­sor Street close to Mah­jack’s Round­about, to get a look at their vi­sion for a com­plete re­build in­tended to pro­vide mod­ern ac­com­mo­da­tion suit­able for a larger com­mu­nity of res­i­dents.

If ev­ery­thing goes ac­cord­ing to plan, the cur­rent oc­cu­pants would be back home in a mod­ern, safe and more ac­ces­si­ble build­ing by late 2017 – and wel­com­ing new res­i­dents and neigh­bours.

The idea is to re­place the ex­ist­ing 20 bed­sits with 30 apart­ments with bath­rooms, wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble and each with a bal­cony and gar­den view.

The scheme in­cludes a café for res­i­dents and their guests, a new trust of­fice de­signed to im­prove site se­cu­rity, staff ac­com­mo­da­tion and am­ple park­ing.

Uxbridge United Wel­fare Trusts gen­eral man­ager Mick Cater said it was high time Wood­bridge House was made fit for the 21st cen­tury.

“We dearly want to give our res­i­dents a home that will serve them for the rest of their days,” he said.

“We also want to share our vi­sion for Wood­bridge House with our neigh­bours so they can see what we have in mind and let us know what they think as we progress to­wards mak­ing a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to Hilling­don Coun­cil. We re­ally want to get this right.”

Wood­bridge House was built in 1906, on land pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied by almshouses which dated back to the 18th cen­tury. Re­fur­bished twice, it is no longer fit for pur­pose, say the trustees.

For ex­am­ple, none of its 20 bed­sits is suit­able for cou­ples or dis­abled peo­ple, and rooms look out on to a car park.

Stairs are too steep, hall­ways are too cramped and a glazed clois­ter, in­tended to give res­i­dents a place to sit out­side in all weath­ers, is too hot in sum­mer and too cold in win­ter.

The neigh­bour­hood con­sul­ta­tion, with plans and draw­ings avail­able to view, will be at Wood­bridge House, New Wind­sor Street, Uxbridge on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 2 from 4pm to 8pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 01895 232976.

n VI­SION: How the Uxbridge United Wel­fare Trust almshouse could look af­ter it is re­de­vel­oped

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