Pencric, Penkridge, Staffordshire

Opened in 2014, this scheme provides 82 new homes for older people with strong village connections.

PencricHousing Association
South Staffordshire Housing Association

To download a pdf of this case study, click here.

South Staffordshire Council; Homes & Communities Agency; Staffordshire County Council

Scheme outline
Pencric is an Extra Care development in the South Staffordshire village of Penkridge. The scheme was opened in 2014 and provides 82 new homes for older people with strong connections to the village. Homes were available to rent, outright purchase or buy through shared ownership – a range of tenures removing financial barriers to occupancy. It was fully occupied on launch.

The scheme is set within the village apron, overlooking common land. It combines secure, private accommodation for residents with a range of open-access facilities designed to enhance amenities for the community and strengthen social integration. The restaurant, bistro, bar, hairdressing salon and meeting spaces are all open to the public. Partnership links have made possible joint membership of the local swimming pool and Pencric gym for residents and villagers alike.

Both residential and public spaces have Wi-Fi connectivity and there is an IT suite for the use of residents. Pencric serves as a hub for elderly people within the wider village community; being used by a snooker club, whist group and those who access interactive musical workshops for dementia sufferers and their carers. In so doing, the relief of social isolation for older people extends very significantly beyond the remit of residency of the scheme.

Access to the residential area of Pencric is controlled without a visual sense of separation from the communal facilities.

One and two-bedroomed homes have been built; carefully designed to meet the specific needs of older residents but to do so in a subtle, organic way which creates an aspirational lifestyle choice. Typically, residents will say that they are ‘proud’ to live there and that younger family members are ‘envious.’ A team of carers based at Pencric provide flexible care packages for residents as well as domiciliary care in the local community.

In June 2013 Staffordshire County Council published a thematic profile of Housing in South Staffordshire, highlighting the following: 1. The rural nature of the district can act as a barrier to services and facilities allowing people to live independently for longer in their own homes; 2. South

Staffordshire has an ageing population with the number of people aged 80+ predicted to triple by 2035. Catering for the ageing population is a key priority area for South Staffordshire’s LSP; 3. Reductions in public transport present challenges in terms of rural isolation and independent living; 4. There is a shortage of affordable housing, reducing household mobility and threatening economic productivity.

Pencric successfully meets those needs by: 1. Creating 82 purpose-built homes for older residents. Inherent flexibility accommodating changing needs and the provision of onsite care and support help people to live independently for longer; 2. A location within a key village, close to amenities and with excellent public transport links. Local connections criteria were in place for allocations and the development delivered additional community facilities supporting social integration; 4. Offering attractive options and a range of tenures for older people, thereby improving local mobility and releasing additional stock for affordable housing.

Good practice
Pencric’s ‘horseshoe’ footprint supports a division between public and residential spaces and creates a more egalitarian living environment. The building shape also brings an inbuilt sense of physical community, with the accommodation curving around a busy central courtyard. Passive infrared sensors control lighting in all communal areas, increasing efficiency and bringing additional security for residents. Individual units have angled entrance doors and windows, giving occupants a wide view of the exterior corridor while protecting the privacy of their home.

All units are provided with wet rooms for greater accessibility, supplemented by shared spa bath facilities. Energy efficient lighting within the wet rooms is automatically extinguished on exit. Wide corridors accommodate mobility aids and there is space for scooters in the reception areas of every home. A higher than usual amount of storage space has been incorporated into homes and within communal areas, popular with residents downsizing from larger properties. Access throughout the building is by fob, rather than key. If mislaid, a fob can easily be disabled and replaced for greater security.

Grounds incorporate raised beds and potagers so that residents who enjoy gardening can maintain their hobby. A ‘garden gate’ gives direct access to the heart of the village.

South Staffordshire DC – £1.1 million
HCA – £2.027 million
SSHA (Private Finance – £7.74 million
Sales Receipts: £3.2 million

“I have got plenty of company but I have my own space, too. The gardens are wonderful and from my window I have views across the brook.” Pencric resident

“There is never a dull moment. I want to join the gym here but I need to set aside time for a fitness assessment first. I’ve no time for household chores because there is so much going on.” Pencric resident.

“Living here means that we can still be independent but with fewer worries. We are very happy here and our family are over the moon.” Pencric resident