People in Gillingham will be able to benefit from a new housing development offering extra care thanks to investment from Magna Housing, Dorset Council and Homes England.

Magna is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and these homes will be part of its developing portfolio of sustainable homes. They will offer a mix of independent living with on-site care, activities and meals which people can choose to join in with as they wish.

Located close to Gillingham High Street, residents will be able to easily access local amenities to support their ongoing independent living. Working with construction company Drew Smith, part of Vistry Partnerships Ltd, Magna will be offering 55 one and two-bedroom apartments for rent with extensive communal facilities, developed for people who need some additional support as they get older.

Paul Read, Director of Sustainability and New Supply at Magna, said: “We are working closely with Dorset Council and Gillingham Town Council to support the needs of older people in the local area. The result of this is our new development on the site of the old St Martin’s House.

“This scheme will offer support for older people seeking independent living in a supportive and beautiful environment.

“Magna requested that a range of architectural materials were recovered when Dorset County Council took down the old St Martin’s House and we are excited to be able to reuse these as part of the new building. We’ll also continue to support wildlife on the site. We are using some modern construction materials built off-site, not only to reduce the impact on the local community but to ensure that the homes are more cost-effective to run."

Adrian Cator, Managing Director of Drew Smith, said: “We are looking forward to working with Magna Housing to bring forward this extra-care scheme in the heart of Gillingham, providing much needed affordable homes and integrated community facilities.”

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, said: “Dorset Council is pleased that the St Martins Extra Care Scheme is starting on site. This development is the result of a good partnership working between the council, Magna Housing and Homes England which will result in much needed, high-quality affordable accommodation for older people in need of support. We look forward to seeing the works progress”.

Paul Read concludes: “We are really excited to be working in Gillingham and want to make sure that we are involving the local community as much as possible. We will have a dedicated Facebook page for the site which we encourage people to join to find out what is going on and to share thoughts and questions, and we'll also post regular updates on our website. We’ll also be out and about in the local area so we can make sure that local people know what is happening and when. We are committed to the local area so we are here to stay and are looking forward to building strong relationships with local businesses and residents.”