News

Improving homes, improving lives

Release Date: 19-May-2015
Residents of Denham Court retirement living scheme in Batley are enjoying the benefits of a major investment in their homes.
Cllr Cathy Scott and Cllr Gwen Lowe, with Denham Court tenants and representatives from KNH, Strategic Housing & Building Services

Cllr Cathy Scott and Cllr Gwen Lowe, with Denham Court tenants and representatives from KNH, Strategic Housing & Building Services

Sue Smith in her beautiful new home, with Cllr Scott, and (L-R) KNH scheme coordinator Melanie Goodall, ward councillor Gwen Lowe and neighbour Ann Ormsby

Sue Smith in her beautiful new home, with Cllr Scott, and (L-R) KNH scheme coordinator Melanie Goodall, ward councillor Gwen Lowe and neighbour Ann Ormsby

The nine-month project has involved converting 34 bedsits, which were built in the 1970s and had become dated and unpopular, into 18 spacious, attractive and modern lifetime homes for the over-60s.

The end result is the culmination of lengthy consultation with the residents, and team work has been key to the success of the project. Residents, KNH staff, and staff from several council departments, including contractors Kirklees Building Services, as well as local suppliers, worked together during every stage of the project to make sure that the work went smoothly and that everyone was satisfied with the progress being made.

Each flat has been renovated to a high standard and designed to provide modern, spacious, comfortable and secure homes. All the new flats are up to the Lifetime Homes standard, so if residents have increasing mobility or other needs, they can be accommodated within the new flats without the tenant having to move.

The communal areas have also been improved, with new lighting, furniture and decoration giving them a ‘hotel’ like atmosphere. The communal kitchen, laundry and hairdressing room have also been upgraded.

Outside, additional fencing has been installed, and the residents have planted flowers and shrubs within the grounds to give the final finishing touch to Denham Court.

Residents are thrilled with the results. According to Ted Brooksbank, “the past few months have been similar to the TV programme ‘Grand Designs.’ What a transformation! The renovation has been an unqualified success and exceeded all our expectations.

His views were echoed by neighbor Sue Smith, who said: “It was well worth the wait and it’s lovely being back in such a beautiful home to be proud of.”

For Colin Jones, the difference is more than cosmetic: “My new home has made a big difference to my life. There’s lots more room and it’s not as closed in as much as the old flat. After suffering major health problems over the last two years, I feel my new home will help further my recovery.”

The transformed grange was officially opened by Cllr Cathy Scott, the cabinet member for housing, at an event on 19 May which was attended by tenants and their families; local residents; ward councillors; and staff from KNH and Kirklees Council who have been involved in the refurbishment scheme

According to Cllr Scott; “the transformation of Denham Court isn’t just about improving people’s homes; it’s also about improving their lives. Housing has such an impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and that’s particularly true for older people who often spend a lot of their time at home.

“This has been a lengthy project and I’d like to thank the tenants – and the residents in the area – for their patience while work has been going on. I think they’ll all agree that the end results are well worth it, and I hope the tenants will be very happy in their new homes for many years to come.”

KNH has retirement living schemes across Kirklees. To find out more, call the Older People’s Support Team on 01484 416444.