A £16 million-plus development of Norwood’s Ravenswood village in Crowthorne, Berkshire, for those with learning disabilities has been scuppered by the sudden withdrawal of its development partner.
The plan had been for a major upgrade of Ravenswood’s residential accommodation and facilities with a parcel of land released to builders Persimmon for the construction of new homes, including affordable housing.
Although Wokingham Borough Council rejected the initial planning application last November, Norwood remained confident that with Persimmon’s financial support and expertise, the scheme would eventually be green-lighted.
But as the deadline for a new submission approached, Persimmon decided to pull out. In light of the withdrawal, Norwood has concluded that it would not be “prudent to progress the plan at this time”.
Chief executive Dr Beverley Jacobson said that “while this is clearly a setback in our ambition for Ravenswood, we will apply our creativity, and passion for the people we support, to develop an exciting new plan of action”.
The charity is now working on ways to upgrade accommodation for the 114 residents in the short term.
While it was too early to provide details and costs, “we will continue to ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of the people we support, and of our staff, are at the forefront of all our thinking”.
Although there have been cases of Covid-19 in the village, there have been no deaths due to the virus.