Glebe Meadow is a Community Interest Company established in 2016, with the aim of buying the redundant Westleton Vicarage and glebe land, in order to build 20 age-appropriate homes for older local people (65+); the Vicarage itself will then be adapted to become the social hub for the residents.
Our plan embodies the concept, relatively new to the UK, of 'senior cohousing’. This addresses both people’s wish for autonomy, and the often-felt need to be part of a community of friendly neighbours. By providing stylish and comfortable smart homes - well-designed, purpose-built, easy-to-heat-and-maintain - as well as a social hub with facilities for shared use, we hope to provide the perfect solution for local folk who, though independent, recognise that they are getting older and would like a more supportive environment, but do not want to have to move away from their friends and the area they love in order to find it. At present, there is no such provision in the immediate area, so some active and valued senior residents are forced to uproot to find appropriate accommodation, depleting the social fabric of the village.
The hub - the Vicarage building - will be for residents to use pretty much as they like: cooking and eating together in the spacious kitchen-dining room, reading the papers or watching TV or films in the lounge, practising yoga or playing bridge in the games room, or welcoming their visitors to take advantage of the guest accommodation on the first floor of the building. It is expected that residents will work out between themselves how they want to arrange their use and care of the facilities, while the manager, though part-time, can provide support when needed. Various uses of the garden areas will doubtless evolve also: chickens, perhaps, allotments: or croquet?
We hope that by being part of a friendly community where neighbours look out for each other and help one another when needed, residents will have the best chance of enjoying independent and fulfilling activity for years ahead.
This project is our contribution towards tackling the country-wide shortage of purpose-built retirement housing. For inforamtion on senior cohousing schemens and initiatives please take a look at our useful information page
Thank you to everyone who came along to our public consultations in Westleton, Yoxford, Peasenhall and Darsham - see the results here !
July 2019 - submitted our full planning application to East Suffolk District Council. Please find a link to the application, plans, supporting documents, site surveys and appraisals, and independent viability study here.
In the meantime we continue to work on site policies, and funding for the scheme.
December 2019 - we continue to do battle with the planners who want to decline our planning application, primarily because the site is partly outside the village settlement boundary (since they redrew it without consultation in November 2016!)
Many thanks to the EADT who understand the benefits of the scheme and continue to be very supportive in their coverage - 'Unreasonable' planning demands threaten future of vicarage developmentews/westleton-vicarage-plans-under-threat-1-6397461
20th December - the Church of England have kindly agreed to extend our purchase option over the Vicarage which will hopefully give us time to obtain planning permission in the New Year. We plough on!
March 2020 - still no word from the planners about when they might refer our planning application up the chain to the planning committee for a decision. The planning dept seems to be totally unaccountable for their actions - no-one is holding them to account.
Glebe Meadow is a Community Interest Company established to buy the former Vicarage in the heart of Westleton and convert it into the social hub for a new development of 20 modern, age appropriate homes for locals aged at least 65.