Work has begun on a new independent living scheme with Norfolk County Council and Saffron Housing Trust, which was celebrated with a ‘steel signing’ event.

The steel framework of what will be the entrance of the scheme was signed by Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk’s cabinet member for adult social care, and Saffron Housing Trust’s chief executive James Francis, as well as representatives from NorseCare and R G Carter.

The scheme has been renamed ‘Swallowtail Place’, following a competition held with Acle Primary School amongst the year six pupils to name the site, with a shortlist shared with local people who decided the winner, who was also able to sign the framework.

The signing marks the beginning of phase one of the development, on a site provided by Norfolk County Council.

The development, supported by Homes England, with a £2 million investment from the county council will entail 58 affordable homes, 47 of which will be affordable rent with the remainder as shared ownership. They are specifically designed for over 55’s with care needs to be able to live independently, whilst creating much-needed housing and enhancing the surrounding area.

The homes will be one- and two-bedroom flats, with communal spaces such as a lounge, activity room, retail and café space, as well as outside areas; on-site care will be available 24/7 too.

Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Bill Borrett said “It’s wonderful to see work underway here at Acle: we know this kind of scheme can give its residents real freedom and independence, and that’s why the council have put forward both the site itself and spent £2 million to make this happen.  The kind of Independent Living that will be possible here at Swallowtail place has been shown to improve the lives of the people who move in and we’re proud to be investing in this scheme and others like it across the county.  The work here in Acle shows just what can be achieved with the right partners.”

James Francis, chief executive at Saffron Housing Trust said “This has been a fantastic example of partnership working and I’m really pleased we have been able to come together to celebrate what has been achieved so far on the site. The scheme will provide much-needed, quality homes for people who need some additional support but can live independently and feel part of a community.”

Martin Rix, chief operating officer at NorseCare said “NorseCare is extremely proud to be working with all the partners for this stunning scheme and look forward to creating a first-class and vibrant care facility for all of the tenants with strong links to the Acle community”.

Norfolk-based R G Carter director, Alex Mackay said “The event is a great opportunity to celebrate the progress of this much-needed development with an enjoyable event for staff and key stakeholders involved in this project.  It’s been great to see Norfolk County Council and Saffron Housing’s vision come to life and we look forward to handing over this high-quality housing for the local community.”

Architecture, planning, and mechanical and electrical services are being provided by Ingleton Wood. The scheme is due to be completed in Autumn 2022.

Image source- Norfolk County Council

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