“IT MAKES me feel emotional because this home is giving me my life back. I can’t believe that I won’t have to struggle anymore.”
These are the words of Chris Tab, the first resident to move into his new flat, part of a multimillion-pound “green” housing scheme, this week.
Prince Charles House in St Austell is a £5.9 million “blueprint for green and sustainable living” being developed by Ocean Housing Group.
It is for older people and those who need support to live independently, perhaps due to a health problem or disability.
The three-storey building features green technology, enabling it to generate 70 per cent of its energy needs, and is an integral development within the new eco-town planned for St Austell and the Clay Country.
“The only window I had in my previous accommodation was a skylight and I recently fell down the stairs,” added Mr Tab, who suffers with mobility difficulties.
“Here my home is on the level and I can see everything. It’s more than a dream – you can’t imagine the difference it will make for me.”
Each of the 31 affordable rental apartments is designed to make the most of natural light, has its own balcony and winter garden or terrace.
Resident Sharon Bullen said her new home will change her life because her old flat was not wheelchair friendly.
“This meant I ended up in hospital if my multiple sclerosis flared up,” she said. “Now I can be much more independent and on the days when I am not well enough to go out, I can just open the doors and enjoy the outside from the comfort of my own home.
“I’ve never had anything like this before – it’s so beautiful it is unbelievable.”
The development was enabled by the joint partnership of Ocean and Cornwall Council.
Ocean said it will now help residents embrace a greener lifestyle.
“You can have the best-designed and constructed building in the world, but it’s the people who make the difference,” said chief executive David Renwick.
“These homes are a dream come true for so many people and I feel humbled when I meet some of the new residents and hear the obstacles they have faced.”
The building aims to produce 80 per cent less carbon emissions than a typical building and features a biodiversity roof with solar panels. The 22 tonnes of material help insulate the building and regulate heat.
Ocean and the residents will together monitor the energy efficiency of Prince Charles House to measure if a greener lifestyle has a positive effect on residents’ health.
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