Huntingdonshire District Council is expected to rubber stamp plans to grant a housing provider a loan of up to £5.5million to fund the development of a new sheltered housing scheme.

The district council's cabinet will meet today (Thursday) to ratify the loan to Luminus, which will allow the construction of 55 one and two bedroom flats for elderly residents in Ramsey Road, St Ives.

The council insists the loan will "not have a negative financial impact" on its finances and it has sought legal advice over the terms of the 30-year arrangement.

According to Luminus, the new development will "feature communal areas including restaurant and lounge, hairdressing salon, assisted bathing facilities and guest room".

The report to cabinet added: "Health partners intend to commission intermediate care in the scheme whereby people go to the scheme for a short while to help with rehabilitation after a hospital admission.

"This facility can also be used to prevent emergency hospital admissions when someone has had a period of ill health at home."

If the loan is backed by the cabinet, a sheltered housing scheme currently on the site in St Ives will be demolished by Luminus and redeveloped to make way for the new scheme.

The building will cost an estimated £8.4million to compete, with Luminus already having secured £2.3million from the Department of Health.

As part of the loan agreement, the district council will also agree to transfer ownership of a strip of open space adjacent to the site of the proposed development to Luminus.