Vision for the Empire Neath
What the Empire could have been
Luxury Sheltered Home Complex
Like many other towns, Neath has a ageing population. We must therefore look to the future and make plans so that the welfare of the elderly is looked after in the best possible way.
Living in one's own home is the ideal thing, but there comes a time when it is difficult to do so without having help from others.
Sheltered homes where a couple, or an individual, can live independantly, with a warden on call, is perhaps is good option. Tne number of sheltered homes in Neath is, I believe, rather limited. This is where the Empire building could come into the picture.
The fact that Empire is in the centre of Neath, near shops and services, means that it is the ideal location for a purpose built sheltered home complex.The established height of the present building means that several floors could be used for sheltered flats - each flat having two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living room.In the centre of the building a restaurant could be included to provide meals for those who are not up to cooking for themselves.
A Spar type convenience shop on the ground floor could provide all food shopping needs.Also on the lower ground floor, there could be an entertainment - club room where tenants can spend enjoyable evenings in the company of others.The flats could be bought or rented as required. Those buying a flat would be expected to pay an annual maintenance charge. For those renting, the maintenance charge would be included in the rent.
A warden living on the complex would be on hand for any emergencies that may arise. The warden's partner would be available to help with services outside the building, like changing libarary books and shopping needs.It is a fact that similar homes elsewhere are a great success.
Shown right is a development in Sketty, Swansea. The difference with my vision is that the Empire site would go that one mile further for those who cannot cope in a normal home environment.
A typical plan for a two bedroom flat (the second bedroom being handy when a relative stays over) is shown below:-
Below is a smaller 1 bedroom flat which is suitable for someone living alone:
Unfortuately, no thought was given to this by the NPT CBC Planning Department, their councillors or even by Coastal Housing - who, it is alleged, had a grant towards the development of 12 social housing flats.