Sandwell’s adult social care chief has given the thumbs-up to a new extra care housing development in West Bromwich during a visit to meet residents and others who attend activities there. Councillor Ann Shackleton, the council’s cabinet member for social care, said everyone she met at Oakley Gardens seemed happy and settled. Developed in partnership with Housing and Care 21, Oakley Gardens is set within landscaped gardens and has 81 one and two-bedroom apartments for residents aged 55 and over with care and support needs.

Councillor Shackleton said: “I wanted to find out first-hand how residents are settling in. Take-up has been really good, with 94 tenants currently living in the 81 self-contained apartments. “I spoke with a number of residents and people who attend activities at Oakley Gardens in the communal lounge area and they all seemed impressed with the apartments and facilities.

“The great thing about extra care housing like this is that it allows older people to stay independent while also having the safety and comfort of knowing there’s a care team on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We’re looking to have this type of supported living in each of Sandwell’s six towns in the future.” Each apartment at Oakley Gardens has a generous hallway leading to a private lounge, fitted kitchen and wet room with shower.

On-site facilities include a hair and beauty salon, restaurant, well-tended gardens, communal lounge and even a guest room for family and friends. Oakley Gardens, which opened in July 2015, is very light and spacious, and each apartment has its own front door. The inside of the apartments are clean and modern and can be decorated and furnished to meet individual tastes. The accommodation is also dementia friendly.

Councillor Shackleton said some people who had needed short-term accommodation after leaving hospital had liked it so much at Oakley Gardens they had decided to rent an apartment permanently.

She added: “This development is of a very high quality and has a great atmosphere. It really felt like a lovely place to meet other tenants and take part in social activities, for those who wish to.”

The council is about to develop a new supported living scheme with 93 bungalows and apartments at Oxford Road, West Bromwich, for people with a range of health issues, with plans for two further extra car housing schemes, scheduled to open in 2019, at Moor Lane, Rowley Regis, and Durham Estate, Great Barr.