Central & Cecil Housing Trust (C&C), advised by planning and development consultants Montagu Evans, has been given the go ahead by Westminster City Council to redevelop Dora House in St John’s Wood.
The project, valued at £150 million, will provide 156 homes catering exclusively for senior living. C&C plans to demolish the existing Dora House and construct a new residence on the Lodge Road side of the site. The new building will deliver adaptable apartments that exceed the Mayors of London’s space standards, provide specialist services for residents and offer a range of communal facilities, some of which may be open to the wider public.
Dora House is located opposite Lords Cricket Ground and was constructed in the 1960s to provide affordable housing. The current building comprises of bedsit accommodation plus a number of one bedroom flats, however the majority are not wheelchair accessible and the building is unsuitable for providing additional care services that enable its older community to stay in their homes in later life.
Working alongside architects Ryder Architecture and MAKE on the proposals, Montagu Evans provided strategic, development and planning advice to C&C. In addition, Montagu Evans also advised on the disposal of part of the site, which will be used to build 44 private apartments – the revenue from this will fund the construction of the new Dora House, ensuring nil cost to Westminster Council.
Raoul Veevers, Planning and Development Partner at Montagu Evans, said:
“It is widely known that London is not building enough affordable retirement housing and the supply currently available rarely meets current standards and regulations. The new Dora House development will provide exemplar, affordable accommodation, and will also allow its long-standing residents to remain in their homes in St Johns Wood for longer thanks to the improved facilities.”
Daniela Adamo, Head of Development at C&C, said:
“This project provides a great example of our special approach in the redevelopment of our housing stock. Dora House is a 1960s sheltered housing scheme that is no longer fit for purpose in terms of accessibility and modern space standards. This redevelopment project has given C&C the opportunity to implement its own innovative and specialist approach to designing older people’s accommodation that provides a home for life.
“We have developed this unique design concept through close ongoing consultation with our residents. Through this approach we started to appreciate the diversity of our communities, challenging our experience of design and providing an opportunity to innovate.”