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Huge interest at homes plan for over 55s

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 01, 2012

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A £26 million project which could revolutionise the way older people are cared for is expected to go before planners in December.

Dartington Hall Trust bosses hope their Abundant Life scheme will be given the go-ahead when they file their application to South Hams District Council later this year.

The privately-funded scheme could be built within two years after being granted approval and could create up to 50 new jobs on the old Dartington Hall School site at Foxhole.

Trust chief executive Vaughan Lindsay said he was confident the revolutionary scheme would be approved.

He said: "We've been in consultation over this for the last three years. The feedback has been so positive that already 700 people have said they are interested.

"We've even had people giving us cheques as deposits to secure a place.

"Our biggest problem is the scheme will not be big enough to accommodate them all and we will be faced with a difficult selection process."

The scheme will have 150 to 180 dwellings to buy, rent or part-rent. They will be available to people from all walks of life regardless of wealth and income.

The project, a new model of community living for those aged 55 and over, is aimed at keeping older people in their home, active and involved in their community for as long as possible.

The only two current choices available to older people are to stay in their home, which is often unsuitable for their changing physical needs and wellbeing, or to move to a room within a residential care home.

Abundant Life could generate some £7 million annually into the local economy at no cost to the public purse, says the trust.

Mr Lindsay said the social experiment was for people to remain active for as long as possible and continue to contribute to society.

He said Abundant Life would aim to create an "inclusive community of older people who want to lead a more engaged social life".

Mr Lindsay said: "We believe that most care can be delivered in people's own home rather than in a care home.

"We want people to contribute to their environment and look after each other. We have a lot of activities here at Dartington for people to be involved in.

"We want this new community to be part of the experiment and research."

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