Castle Court – Apartments and bungalows for over 55s


Castle Court, which is a major refurbished and amalgamation of three separated buildings into one large complex offering 41 luxury apartments for the over 55s with 5Nr 2 bedroom bungalows built in the grounds of the premises. The scheme has recently been completed for further information please read the article.

Elvet Consultants have been seconded into Derwentside Homes, as a Project Manager to deliver their Homes and Community Agency (HCA) funded new build programme. Derwentside Homes identified an existing sheltered housing scheme, that was dated in its design, both in regard to internal layouts (mostly bedsit accommodation) and externally (general elevation treatment); however in spite of of these shortcomings remained a housing asset worthy of investment.

The existing accommodation consisted of:

  • Castle Court, Annfield Plain, Stanley DH9 7TF
  • Priory Court, Annfield Plain, Stanley DH9 7TG
  • Manor House, Annfield Plain, Stanley DH9 7UZ

Castle Court was a sheltered accommodation unit, which was leased by Derwentside Homes from Durham County Council with other premises providing children services and temporary accommodation units for the NHS. With the decision to close Priory Court and Manor House Derwentside offered to purchase the freehold of all three buildings to convert it into independent living accommodation for the over 55s.

The challenge for the tenderers was to improve the internal design in order to introduce the optimum number of one and two bedroom apartments to deliver a quality scheme, (building on the established model at Haven House and Magdalene Court) and 5Nr two bedroom bungalows for sale; to include

  • individual heating control to each apartment;
  • to improve the communal facilities;
  • to enhance the external appearance to improve “kerb appeal”/”sense of arrival”;
  • and create a sense of safety and security on approach to and whilst inside the Court.

The scheme is intended to deliver independent living for the over 55s; however, in arriving at their design solutions the contractors had to consider that the average age of the tenants within the existing shelter courts is approximately 70 years old and these tenants have the physical restriction that are systematic of their age group.

After a rigorous tender evaluation process the evaluators felt that Keepmoat offered the best value for money delivering the majority of the client requirements in terms of space and quality of the end design whilst remaining within the challenging budget constraints.

Keepmoats proposal included  41 one and two-bedroom apartments, which will have fully fitted bathrooms, kitchens, new heating systems, en-suites and access to award winning community features that include:

  • communal kitchens / lounge areas
  • communal washing/drying area
  • hairdressers facility
  • IT suite
  • cinema room
  • multi-use function room
  • scooter storage
  • secure external courtyard including seating areas, planting areas and games activity spaces
  • landscaped gardens to ground floor apartments with patio area

The two bedroom bungalows for sale will be energy efficient designed to the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 and will include car parking and gardens.

The project started in March 2012 and has just been formally handed over in May 2013. All apartments have pre-allocated with the tenants extremely eager to move into their new homes.

We have taken numerous photographs during the construction phase including the recently completed development, which you can view by clicking here.

If you have any queries regarding this blog or wish to discuss the scheme please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 501 8690 or alternatively at