Grants Hill Court, Wealden District Council’s flagship retirement development in Uckfield, has been officially opened.
The £11 million scheme is the latest council housing scheme to be commissioned by the district authority and provides 67 self-contained apartments for older people.
The opening coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Addison Act which paved the way for large scale council housing to be built.
The development is designed to provide independent living for those aged over 60 and will ensure residents’ mobility needs are met.
It includes an on-site court manager plus 24-hour Lifeline support. Communal facilities include a lounge with tea bar, mobility scooter store, two lifts, assisted bathroom, two internal courtyard gardens, and a guest suite.
Wealden Council chair, Cllr Pam Doodes said: “Wealden District Council believes that the provision of good quality affordable homes for local people is of huge importance. We have an ageing population. People are living longer and that is something we should celebrate.”
She said: “It is important we develop a range of housing options that will help give our residents independence and a high quality of life, and refresh our housing stock to ensure it offers everything that people expect now from their homes.”
The first person to move into Grants Hill Court is Susannah Masters, a former tenant of Streatfeild House who said she was thrilled to be moving into the new building.
“It’s like a hotel. I have a wonderful view from my flat out to the South Downs which overlooks the roof gardens of the flats below. I couldn’t have wished for more. It really works well for me.”
The site was originally occupied by Grants Hill House, a large manor house reputed to be the last place the vanished aristocrat Lord Lucan was seen alive.
The new retirement court replaces a Wealden sheltered housing scheme on the same site which was built in 1981 and needed updating.
An extra 25 apartments have been provided at Grants Hill Court.
Work on the development has taken two years and Cllr Doodes thanked residents of neighbouring homes, especially the Thomas Scanlan Trust, and users of Uckfield Bowls Club, for their patience during construction.
• The first council homes were built in 1934 in Selby Road, and Vernon Road by Uckfield Rural District Council which later joined with Hailsham Rural District Council to form Wealden.
The council now owns more than 3,000 council houses, including 199 new ones provided since 2013 to offer affordable rents for local people.
The 67 new retirement living apartments at Grants Hill Court are the latest example of a long tradition in the district of public housing.
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory