Monday, 15 August 2022

Residents want to keep out the rain

A SHELTERED housing complex in Wargrave needs a new entrance to help tackle a “wind tunnel” that lets in rainwater.

Wargrave Housing Association, which owns Elizabeth Court in Victoria Road, has applied to Wokingham Borough Council for planning permission.

Elizabeth Court has 47 self-contained flats for retired people. There is also a communal surgery, sitting room, laundry and gardens.

The application says the main entrance is not obvious from the front of the building and visitors are often confused about how to get in.

The paths leading to the east and west entrances are not covered, meaning rain and wind can get into the building when the external doors are open, which causes the corridors to become cold and the wooden floors slippery.

Under the plans, the entrances would be covered to provide shelter from the elements and new stone cladding would be used to help visitors identify them. The lounge would be extended to create a new, small kitchen.

Stan Thompson, chairman of the association, said the new design would improve safety and allow the home to run more events.

Speaking at a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council, he said: “It’s coming up to 50 years since the council gave the sign-off for Elizabeth Court and it has grown into a valuable facility.

“The current design has created a wind tunnel in the facility, which is bringing rain and sleet inside on to the wooden floors.

“The application is to expand by a very small amount in the lounge to create a kitchen facility. It is used by the pop-in club and they are getting 20 or 30 people in there. It’s bringing the elements together to make it look nice and attractive for future customers.”

Councillor Marion Pope said: “I think it’s a very good design. It’s an angular building and this will solve a lot of problems with health and safety and the warmth of the elderly people. At the moment those corridors are dreadfully cold.”

Councillors said they had no objections to the application, which will be considered by the borough council later this month.

Last month, the home hosted a pop-up shop selling Christmas cards to raise money for charities including the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Daisy’s Dream, Cancer Research UK, Barnardo’s, the NSPCC, the Alzheimer’s Society and the RNLI.

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