Plans unveiled for former Huntingdon school

THE former Brookside School and adjacent land, near Huntingdon town centre could be developed into 43 flats and 34 extra care units , if planners agree. Social landlord the Luminus Group wants to develop the site partly for social housing and to replace

THE former Brookside School and adjacent land, near Huntingdon town centre could be developed into 43 flats and 34 "extra care units", if planners agree.

Social landlord the Luminus Group wants to develop the site partly for social housing and to replace the existing Cromwell Square extra care accommodation.

The school site, which was last used as a music and dance centre, was bought by Luminus from Lidl after the supermarket chain was refused planning consent for a store there. The decision was upheld on appeal.

The social landlord has been talking to the Leonard Cheshire home in Brampton about a possible move to the site.

The development will involve demolition of the barracks for local militia, built in the 19th century and currently used for extra care accommodation and facilities. The apartment building proposed will form three sides of a quadrangle, partly overlooking the town park across the ring road.

Archaeological investigation of the former school site 10 years ago found evidence of mediaeval buildings, and there may have been prehistoric activity, St Neots-based surveyors D H Barford say.

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A Luminus spokesman said this week: "The extra care accommodation is designed to help people live as independent a life as possible within the community, while at the same time providing them with a degree of unobtrusive assistance tailored to individual needs.

"The extra care sheltered scheme will be run by Luminus Oak Foundation, providing rented and low cost home ownership accommodation targeted mainly at individuals with mobility problems, such as wheelchair users and older people looking for assistance with the practicalities of everyday living.

"The extra care building will include a community room with tea-making facilities and a dining room designed to seat 40 people including wheelchair access. The scheme is supported by a catering kitchen designed to provide three served meals a day. The extra care building also includes a library and hobby room, a hairdressing room and a physiotherapy room."

The residential building proposed has 12 one-bed apartments, 26 two-bed and five three-bedroom flats, all available on the open market.

Luminus and builders Campbell Buchanan believe construction could take around 15 months, with opening in autumn 2009, if the planning application is approved.

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