Res­i­dents set to move in at flats for war vet­er­ans

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS - By David Gazet dgazet@thek­m­ @DavidGazetKM

A £3.4 mil­lion project to pro­vide two blocks of flats for wounded and sick war vet­er­ans has been com­pleted.

The first res­i­dents have now moved in to the 24 one and twobed­room homes to the east of Quarry Wood In­dus­trial Es­tate off Her­mitage Lane, Ayles­ford.

The scheme was put for­ward by Royal Bri­tish Le­gion In­dus­tries (RBLI) with funds from the Armed Forces Covenant Li­bor Fund in a bid to cope with the high de­mand for ac­com­mo­da­tion for ex-ser­vice­men and women who need spe­cial fa­cil­i­ties to live their lives to the full. They were ap­proved by plan­ning of­fi­cials in 2015.

The RBLI al­ready pro­vides homes in the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion Vil­lage, in­clud­ing Gavin As­tor House and Queen El­iz­a­beth Court but these meet a dif­fer­ent need. The de­vel­op­ment is aimed at se­nior vet­er­ans and younger ser­vice leavers, with the in­ten­tion of cre­at­ing a small sus­tain­able com­mu­nity for ex-forces per­son­nel.

The flats were de­signed by Kent-based Clague Ar­chi­tects and fea­ture ad­justable work­tops, ex­tra-wide door frames, lighter doors, wet-rooms and other mod cons that will make the vet­er­ans’ lives eas­ier.

The com­plex – with build­ings named In­vic­tus Games House and Vic­tory House – will have a court­yard at its cen­tre. It will house a for­mer gold medal win­ning Chelsea Flower Show Gar­den, de­signed by Jo Thomp­son, which has been do­nated by the Chelsea Bar­racks Foun­da­tion.

Tim Wolfe-Mur­ray, part­ner at the ar­chi­tects, said: “Projects like this al­ways give you an ex­tra bit of sat­is­fac­tion in the fact that you are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

“We could not be prouder of the work that has been done here and we know that it is go­ing to have a ma­jor im­pact on the lives of so many of our coun­try’s vet­er­ans.”

James Rudoni, di­rec­tor of RBLI Liv­ing, said: “These stun­ning new apart­ments, which are specif­i­cally tai­lored for vet­er­ans and their de­pen­dents – par­tic­u­larly those who are at risk of home­less­ness and fac­ing chal­lenges due to dis­abil­ity, will be­come a home to peo­ple who may oth­er­wise strug­gle.”

Pic­ture: PA photo/Bruce Adams/Daily Mail/MOD Pool

Troops on pa­trol in Iraq. In­set, In­vic­tus Games House and Vic­tory House are new flats cre­ated for sick and wounded vet­er­ans near Quarry Wood In­dus­trial Es­tate off Her­mitage Lane, Ayles­ford

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