George Sellars lived in his three-bedroom house in Shiregreen for more than 72 years – before he recently packed his bags to take up a brand new apartment overlooking the cricket field off Sicey Avenue.
After more than seven decades in a house he shared with his sister, was it a difficult decision to make the move?
“Well, I had my memories after so many years,” says George, “but you can take your memories with you can’t you?”
George is one of more than 30 residents who has moved into the new Sicey Pavilion Apartments which are owned and managed Sanctuary Group.
Out of the 24apartments at the scheme, 19 have been taken up by people who have moved from family homes they lived in for many years elsewhere on the estate.
Housing associations like Sanctuary are working closely with local residents to help them find the best housing solutions, whether they need larger homes for a growing family or smaller accommodation in later life.
To help achieve this, Sanctuary which manages 2,500 properties on the Shiregreen Estate following the transfer of homes from Sheffield City Council in 2006, developed new housing specially designed for older people.
Helen Wright, Sanctuary’s head of development for the North, said: “This new scheme was much needed in Shiregreen and will be an important part of the community.
“Developments like this provide residents with a secure and homely environment, but also the peace of mind.
“We know that housing is a high priority for Sheffield City Council and it is great to have the support of the council for this project in Sicey Avenue.”
The location for the new £2.2million scheme was a plot of land of nearly an acre – formerly the site of the Sicey Hotel public house.
As well as providing new housing, Sanctuary wanted to make the development as sustainable as possible and create employment opportunities.
Young people from Shiregreen were recruited by Sanctuary’s construction partner Frank Haslam Milan (FHM), part of Keepmoat, which built the new Sicey development.
FHM successfully employs apprentices on all its schemes, and for its work at Sicey Pavilion Apartments, it wanted to boost employment in the area by taking on talented young people who were looking for work.
George Sellars is 75 and lived in his last house, a three-bedroom home, for 72 years.
He said: “I have an apartment on the third floor so I can see out at the cricket. I am a real cricket fan so it is perfect for me. Not only that but the apartment is warm and cosy and I have the perfect view.
“I am pleased that I am now in an apartment I really like – and that a family is in my old home.”
Councillor Sioned Richards said: “This scheme is wonderful. Let’s hope that Sheffield gets more housing of this type in the future so that older people can move into apartments which suit them – and that families can live in larger houses with more room.”
Nathan Brough, construction manager at FHM, said: “This is a great new scheme for the area and it was a pleasure to work in the Shiregreen community.
“We worked with a number of talented apprentices to deliver this scheme and we felt this was a real community project to be proud of.”
The building meets level 4 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes, which means it has been built to a very high standard of thermal efficiency and includes elements of renewable energy.
Sanctuary is now working on the development of an older persons’ housing scheme in Arbourthorne. With 52 flats and four bungalows, the housing scheme will be affordable – social rent or affordable sale.