Hartlepool council considers building centre for adults with disabilities

The Havelock Centre
The Havelock Centre

COUNCILLORS are being asked to support innovative plans to build a new purpose-built independent living centre and accommodation block for adults with disabilities.

Hartlepool Borough Council is considering redeveloping land next to the Havelock Centre for Independent Living, in Burbank Street, into a new centre and re-developing the current site into 20 to 25 units of accommodation.

There are also plans to build on a second site in Burbank Street which could be used to provide a further 20-30 units of accommodation for adults with complex health and social care needs.

Councillors sitting on the adult services committee, chaired by Labour councillor Carl Richardson, will meet on Monday to discuss the plans and they are asked to support the proposals so further work on the finance options can be done.

Ahead of the meeting, officers say there has been some initial consultation with users of the current Centre for Independent Living, residents and ward councillors – and the feedback has been “positive”.

Officers say extra accommodation of this nature is needed in town and a new centre would improve the current facilities on offer for adults with disabilities.

It could also help reduce running costs as the utility and maintenance costs of the existing Centre for Independent Living are high because the building is old.

In September 2012, the council was approached by a specialist adult social care provider looking for land in order to provide housing care and support for adults with a disability.

That led to the two sites being identified by officers and further work being carried out.

A report by Neil Harrison, head of service within adult social care, said: “During negotiations with the developer a proposal to construct a replacement for the existing Havelock Centre for Independent Living has been discussed and some provisional plans have been drawn up for this.

“The proposal at present is to build a new centre as a replacement for the existing Havelock Centre on the land adjoining it, prior to demolition of the existing centre and construction of a supported living residential scheme on the site of the current centre.

“The second site to the west, in Burbank Street, could be used to provide 20-30 units of accommodation of mixed tenure including supported tenancies, shared living and specialist resident provision for adults with complex health and social care needs.”

There are currently 42 adults with a learning disability identified as needing a change in their existing accommodation, with seven more looking to return to the area over the next two years.

The adult services committee is due to meet at 10am in the Civic Centre.