Council approve £10m JBD development

A £10.6million Jewish Blind and Disabled development of mobility apartments has been given the green light by Hertsmere Council. The Bushey project will incorporate 39 one-bedroom apartments for physically disabled or vision impaired people of all ages and two apartments for full-time on-site house managers.

It will also include communal areas, landscaped gardens with sen-sory areas and a guest suite for visiting family or friends. In February, plans were rejected by Hertsmere because over concerns about the visual impact of the site. However, amended plans submitted in May were approved last Thursday.

JBD chair John Joseph said the Bushey development would be its seventh purpose-built complex, all offering "a key to independence" to their 359 tenants.

"Without Jewish Blind and Disabled, these tenants would have had to choose between a life of housebound dependence or an unwanted move into residential care, often at a comparatively young age.

"Instead, they have the dignity of choice that can come only from having the key to their own front door. And should help be required, it is always on hand just the other side of that door."

Chief executive Hazel Kaye said JBD, which receives no government funding, has raised £7.6million, leaving a £3 million shortfall. Building will start in six months with projected completion in 2012.

"We have been looking for land for six years and our waiting list keeps getting longer," she pointed out. "We had specific requirements for the site because it needed to be on level land with a synagogue and amenities close by.

"The Jewish demographic is changing and the Hertsmere community is rapidly growing so demand there is high and there are no other organisations that can help."

MS sufferer Russell Reuben, 64 - who lives with his wife Felicity at JBD's Frances and Dick James Court in Mill Hill East - says "the facilities and atmosphere are wonderful.

"It's like living in your own property but you have the support of house managers and a team of people who understand you.

"It's very important for JBD to expand because there are so many people who need that support."

Last updated: 1:17pm, August 5 2010