Work on new homeless shelter in Waterbeach gets underway

work on a new shelter for the homeless at Waterbeach gets underway

work on a new shelter for the homeless at Waterbeach gets underway - Credit: Archant

Work on a new £3.3 million shelter for homeless people is underway in Waterbeach.

Work on a new shelter for the homeless gets underway in Waterbeach

Work on a new shelter for the homeless gets underway in Waterbeach - Credit: Archant

Housing and care provider Sanctuary Group was granted approval earlier this year to develop the new premises on the site of the former homeless shelter, Robson Court.

Since then, Sanctuary has been working closely with South Cambridgeshire District Council – who provided the land on a long term lease - to move residents from the shelter into temporary accommodation nearby.

The empty hostel is due to be demolished shortly ready for construction work to get underway at the site.

The new shelter, partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), will be built by Sanctuary’s contractors Hill Partnerships and will include 30 individual apartments. There will be six two-bedroom flats and 24 one-bedroom flats, including one built to full mobility standards.

Sanctuary recently invited its partners at the council along to celebrate the start of work on the new shelter, which is due for completion in early 2015.

Sarah Brind, Sanctuary’s development manager for the east, said: “This new shelter will provide a mix of accommodation better suited to the needs of those needing emergency accommodation. Rather than shared kitchens and bathrooms, each flat will be self-contained with its own facilities and there will be wheelchair access throughout the building as well as one flat designed to full mobility standards.

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“This will provide a much better quality of life for residents and we are proud to be playing our part in providing high quality homes for those who need them most.”

She said that Sanctuary would also be looking to create employment and training opportunities on site throughout the construction period through its contractor, Hill Partnerships.

Councillor Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s great to see that work on the new hostel is underway. Once complete, it will help us to support vulnerable adults and families who find themselves in need of this type of temporary accommodation.

“It’s important that we do everything we can to reduce the number of people facing homelessness in our community. Projects like this provide a vital foundation to enable people to move forward into successful independent living and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

Andrew Pearson, Area Manager at the HCA, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to support the redevelopment of Robson Court as it will make a huge difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the area.”

Sanctuary Group and South Cambridgeshire Council are working with former residents of Robson Court to devise a name for the newly built shelter.