Sussex Housing & Care are expanding Oakwood Court care home in Amberley Close, Haywards Heath. We are a small not for profit housing association who provide housing and care for older people in Sussex, and this extension to the existing care home means we can provide much needed additional care in Haywards Heath.
The new extension to Oakwood Court will provide an additional 27 care bedrooms and new communal facilities to ensure we can provide state of the art services. Once extended, Oakwood Court will provide a total of 60 care bedrooms.
Planning consent for the new extension was granted in March 2021 and we are working closely with our selected building contractor, Niblock, who started on site in January 2023.
As well as a new bedrooms, the extension will also have a new living/dining area, salon, and replacement laundry. We will be making improvements to the entrance to the existing home as well as an extension of the kitchen and other minor alterations. We have worked with a landscape architect who has drawn up plans for re-landscaping the grounds to make them more attractive and accessible for all residents.
If you have any questions we would welcome you to get in touch with Jackie Strube, Project Manager via email: Jackie.Strube@sussexhousing.org.uk
1. What does the extension include?
The plan is to build an extension to Oakwood Court to provide an additional 27 new care bedrooms together with sitting, dining, activity and staff areas. The laundry will be relocated to the new block and the existing kitchen will be extended. The existing entrance will be improved to provide a reception area and desk.
2. Why is it being done?
Sussex Housing & Care want to grow and develop their facilities to address the growing need for homes. Oakwood Court is in a popular area and there is space to extend the home, providing additional accommodation and lounge areas.
3. How will the plans benefit the existing residents?
At Oakwood Court there will be an improved entrance area, additional space for activities and the redecoration of the living and dining room and corridors, as well as many more communal spaces throughout the home for residents and their families to enjoy.
At Oakwood flats, which is the neighbouring sheltered housing scheme owned by Sussex Housing & Care, we are creating additional parking spaces and have set aside a budget to fund improvements to the garden space and to work with residents in agreeing the plans for these. We are also looking to replace the communal lounge furniture following consultation with residents.
4. Who is organising the work?
The work is being managed by Askival who are experienced development project managers and have worked with a number of housing organisations. The project manager is Jackie Strube and she is working with the design and cost consultant team to finalise details of the proposals and select a contractor.
5. Who will build the extension?
We have selected a preferred contractor called Niblock who are managing the build. Click here to find out more about Niblock. They are members of the building industry’s Considerate Constructors scheme which is a code of conduct to ensure they run the site well and in a neighbourly manner. The site manager for the development is Myles Pitt.
6. Will the works be noisy?
Inevitably, there will be noise at certain stages of the construction, however the contractors will be required to keep to specific daytime working hours and will not be working at weekends. We will ensure that the contractor has plans to minimise noise and keeps us informed of when they will be carrying out particularly noisy or disruptive activities. Residents will have an opportunity to meet the contractors and they will have a resident liaison point of contact.
7. How will we minimise disruption with the deliveries for the build?
We will be working with the contractor to ensure the traffic is ‘managed’ during the build. The contractor is likely to work Monday to Friday only (possibly some weekends close to opening). There is a Banksperson to ‘manage’ the traffic in and out of site all day.
8. How will we try and keep the other carparks operational during the works?
The Banksperson mentioned above will manage the traffic during the works. In addition we will try to identify alternative parking spaces in the surrounding area to relieve the parking pressure on site during the works. We will be insisting as part of the contract that the contractor/sub-contractor buses in the workforce, rather than enabling them to park onsite.
9. How long will it take to build?
Building work is expected to take around 18 months.
10. Will we still be able to use the car park/garden whilst the works are taking place?
We will need to agree the access arrangements to the garden with the contractor. The Oakwood Court staff/visitors car park will not be available during construction, and visitor parking on the access road will not be possible because there will be large deliveries of building materials to the site. We are providing some additional spaces near to the pond, close to the site entrance.
11. Will the large tree to the rear of Oakwood Court in the staff/visitor car park be removed?
No, this tree is protected with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).There are other trees on site that will be affected and we are working with the tree officer at Mid Sussex District Council to identify the trees on site. Where trees have to be removed, they will be replaced.
12. Will the care home close during the works at all?
No, the home will continue to operate as normal and residents will continue to have 24/7 care and support, as well as access to communal areas and their bedrooms.
13. How will you keep residents/families/neighbours informed of progress?
We will produce regular newsletters with updates as work progresses and will keep this webpage up to date.
14. Who do I contact for more information?
If you’d like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact our Project Manager Jackie Strube: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have created a document which shows the design of the new extension including bedroom plans and how it fits with the wider landscape of the site. Read more here: Design and Access Statement January 2021.pdf [pdf] 8MB
Our building contractor is now working on site and has started work. Here are the key phases and timescales of the project, which could be subject to change:
Phase 1 - January 2023 to May 2023
Temporary car park, decomissioning the areas of the building which will be affected by the extension and bat surveys.
Phase 2 - June 2023 to November 2024
This is when the main extension will be done, including demolishing some of the existing building, completing ground works and building the new extension.
Phase 3 - October 2024 to March 2025
A new foyer and reception area will be built and the main communal areas in the existing building will be re-decorated. A new kitchen and laundry room will be finished.
Niblock hold traditional values with a modern approach. They have been in business since 1960 and have a wealth of experience working with both public and private sector clients, including other housing associations. Here is the team that will be leading the extension at Oakwood Court:
"I am the Project Manager for Niblock Building Contractors at Oakwood Court. I have worked for Niblock for 8 years obtaining a first class honours degree in Construction Management, then my Masters in Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB) with the company’s full support, allowing me to confidently lead the construction team through from design stage to final completion. I will be on site daily supervising and managing the project and I would be happy to help should you have any queries."
"I am the Senior Contracts Manager for Niblock Building Contractors at Oakwood Court. Having worked for Niblock since I was 16 years old, I have 42 years’ experience. I am responsible to the overall delivery of the project from beginning to end, with my construction management team to ensure we produce a home that the client and future residents will love and enjoy."
"I am the Resident Liaison Officer for Niblock Building Contractors at Oakwood Court. With 15 Years’ experience as an RLO I am committed to keeping communication open with our residents and the project team to ensure a high level of service delivery is achieved."