Minister visits St Albans to tour disabled housing project

EQUALITIES Minister Lynne Featherstone visited the city on Tuesday to take a look around a housing project for young disabled people.

The Lib Dem minister also met local members of her party during the visit to the Castle Mews project in New Greens, St Albans.

She was shown around by St Albans council leader Robert Donald, Isobel Chalcraft of Ability Housing Association and local Lib Dem activist David Partridge who lives next to the project and is himself partially disabled.

Ms Featherstone also met a number of residents including Andrew Bird who needs care 24 hours a day.

She said: “I was so impressed by what I saw. It gives young people with sometimes severe disabilities the quality of life that they should expect. I can honestly say that I have never seen a better-designed facility anywhere in the country.”

David Partridge commented: “It is a splendid addition to what is already a successful and diverse community in New Greens – it is great to have them as neighbours.”

The Castle Mews project is built on a former district council-owned garage site in Flint Way and was constructed by Ability Housing Association. It has a total of seven one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats.

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It came into being after a group of parents of young people with disabilities raised concerns about the extent of future provision available for their children once they had left specialist residential schools or colleges.