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Manston Court refurbishment plans approved

10 June 2010

Plans have been unveiled by Capita Symonds’ Southampton regional partnership for the design and refurbishment of Manston Court, an Extra Care Sheltered Housing Scheme in Lordshill, Southampton.

When completed in December 2010, the scheme will become a benchmark for similar housing projects in the city as the only extra care facility to cater specifically for mobility-impaired users.

Manston Court consists of 63 self-contained flats with a new entrance canopy, open plan entrance foyer, communal lounge, medical treatment areas, commercial kitchen, dining areas, hair salon, IT suite, cinema / reading room, mobility scooter store, housing offices and associated circulation areas.

Paul Stansfield, Assistant Architectural Services Manager, explains: ”The accommodation is provided for vulnerable older people, many of whom have additional care needs which often entails outside agencies visiting them to undertake personal care tasks, meaning access to flats is vitally important”.

"Manston Court is one of two dedicated extra care schemes in the City, this is the only one owned and managed by Southampton City Council with local Councillors taking a keen interested in its running and the service being provided to tenants. The scheme will be fully occupied during the works and although the works are primarily in the communal areas, the Client believes that these areas are extensions of people’s homes and it is expected that contactors treat them as such.

"Capita Symonds is keen to ensure that disruption to residents is kept to a minimum alongside tenants being kept informed at all stages of the works. Services to the building including power, water, fire alarm and warden call alarms cannot be compromised, so Capita Symonds have developed ten phases of work that enables refurbishment work to be carried out in safe, manageable tranches whilst the building is in constant use and then handed back to users.

"New treatment areas are accessed directly from the main communal lounge area in private medical bays. This way users can carry on with their daily social activities whilst waiting for medical staff to arrive. Information about resident's blood pressure, heart rates and other data can be sent instantly from the treatment area to GP's & consultants via wireless handheld units. 

"The refurbished building will be the only extra care facility in the City to cater specifically for mobility-impaired users, making entrances and circulation areas fully accessible, providing a custom built mobility scooter store with dedicated parking & easy use charging points for residents.

"The interior design provides a different colour scheme on each floor level, making it easier for residents to navigate their way around the building, using colour as a way finding technique. Brightly coloured panels alongside resident's front doors not only brighten the circulation areas but aid in visual recognition. Induction loops will be installed throughout the building so that hearing impaired residents can use communal areas. Tactile & bold colour contrasting signage will aid visually impaired users.       

"The newly refurbished Manston Court and the ideas behind it are being heralded by Southampton City Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods as the benchmark to which all supported housing schemes within the City should aspire. The refurbishment and design ideas are due to be published in ‘Tenant Link Magazine’ & circulated to 18,000 Council tenants across Southampton.”