Bungalows go up in economic downturn
5:30am Saturday 22nd March 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
A HOUSING project for retired people in North Swindon which succeeded in spite of the recession is celebrating as it continues to expand.
In 2010 Blunsdon Abbey Park defied the economic troubles in the housing market as the owners launched a programme to build bungalows.
It is a move that has proved extremely popular and now the site has in excess of 80 residents, with many more looking to move in.
The park provides up-to-date accommodation for those over the age of 50 who are looking to downsize and live in a quiet community.
Adam Griffin, owner of the site, said: “When they reach a certain age and the children have moved out a lot of people look to downsize to unlock some funds. What we have here is the perfect chance to do that.
“The homes are the highest quality standard and are in a secure community. People here know they can leave their house and it will be safe.
“The bungalows are bespoke so the residents can design what they want. We have one gentleman who had a look around several factories to see what he wanted and then picked the parts he wanted.”
The workers are still on the site and are continuing to build homes overlooking Priory Vale.
Despite its growth over the years, Adam has further plans to expand, using some of the historic buildings in the park.
He said: “We could have taken the option to sit back and do nothing but we decided instead to move forward.
“We own the whole site which includes the former abbey. While I can’t yet put a timescale on things we want to turn part of it into offices and the other part of it into a community hall for residents.”
Yesterday, North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson visited the park, saying it offered a great opportunity for over-50s.
“I have represented this area as a councillor for 10 years and as an MP for four and have been very impressed at the complete transformation of this site,” he said.
“You can see why there is such strong demand for a place here. There is a fantastic community spirit here.
“What’s more is the majority of the residents here are from Swindon, unlike other places where quite a few people move in from London. Places like this are vital for independent living so people can live and enjoy a longer and more fulfilling retirement.”
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