New care scheme scoops top national design a


Centra Care and Support’s (part of Circle Housing) new extra care scheme in east London has this month gained national recognition for its innovative approach to housing for over 55s.

Windmill Court, at Weale Road, was honoured with a HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) award on 11th July at the prestigious Housing Design Awards.

The scheme, which is located within the Friday Hill post-war estate of Chingford, replaces two out-of-date community centres with 44 one and two-bed apartments and communal facilities.

Windmill Court is specifically designed to meet the needs of older residents and maximise their independence for the future.

The scheme, which was designed by architects PRP, was praised for the layouts skill in exploiting access and exposure to panoramic views, as well as the carefully designed recessed flat entrances that provide dignified thresholds for each home. Each of the apartments have both an exposed balcony and an enclosed winter garden, and are dual aspect thanks to their access arrangements.

Presenting the award, Jeremy Porteus, Director Housing Learning and Improvement Network and said: “If you happen to have an ageing relative you love in the Chingford area, you couldn’t do better for them than point them towards the delightful Windmill Court extra care facility.”

Philip Browne, Director of Development for Circle Housing, said: “This scheme is a great example of our innovative approach to development.

“At Windmill Court, our ambition was to create a scheme that doesn’t just meet the needs of an ageing population but provides housing that older people will positively aspire to live in, and we are therefore pleased with this recognition.”

The accolade is given to projects that best reflect the recommendations proposed in the HAPPI report.

Paul King, a resident at Windmill Court, said: “It’s nice building, with a nice view, nice rooms and no noise. It’s the best place I’ve been to.”