BUILDING work has begun on a new £5.6m affordable independent living scheme for the elderly in Royal Wootton Bassett.

The Dairy View development on the former St Ivel site in the town will provide 48 new apartments, of which 35 will be for affordable rent and 13 for shared ownership, with a mixture of one and two-bedroom homes.

There will also be a 24-hour on-site care and support team as well as a restaurant and other facilities aimed not only at Dairy View residents but pensioners across Royal Wootton Bassett.

The Dairy View scheme is being developed by social enterprise Housing & Care 21.

Each flats in the Cloatley Crescent development will have level access showers and access from the bedroom directly to the bathroom, allowing hoists to be easily installed.

Several of the flats will also be fully wheelchair accessible.

The first residents are due to move into the new extra care scheme in summer 2015.

Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult care and housing, said: “Helping older people continue to live independent lives in their own home for longer requires the right accommodation alongside high-quality support and care services. Dairy View is a wonderful example of what can be achieved through partnership working with specialist providers to benefit the increasing number of older people across Wiltshire.”

As well as Wiltshire Council, funding for the £5.6m development comes from the Homes and Communities Agency, the government body responsible for funding affordable homes.

Paul Tewkesbury, locality manager for Housing & Care 21, said: “Extra care housing enables older people to enjoy independent living along with 24-hour care and support on site, making it an excellent alternative to more traditional housing approaches.”

Under Wiltshire Council’s Older People’s Accommodation Development Strategy, 1,100 units of extra care housing will have to be built to meet demand in the region by 2026.

Royal Wootton Bassett Coun-cillor Chris Wannell said although he was not opposed to the new scheme, he had been disappointed at the way the land has been developed – with 500 new houses built, he said – as a whole over the years.

“I don’t have a problem with the flats but I have a problem with the site,” he said. “It’s overcrowded and oppressive – that’s my view of this estate.”