A MULTIMILLION pound complex of nearly 40 homes for the over 55s in Newport should be ready by next the spring.

Derwen Cymru is currently building 39 dwellings homes and a community hub off Drinkwater Gardens, in the Gaer area of Newport, for those aged 55 and above.

Sarah Hodges, project manager of the commercial team, said that work on the project – known as Bryngaer Place – began in 2016 and should be ready by spring 2018.

She said: “All the properties will be for rent and are for over 55s. Bidding for the properties will start after Christmas through Newport Home Options.

“We are aware quite a few people want to downsize so they are mostly two-bedroom properties and a few one-bedroom flats.”

There will be 39 apartments – four one-bedroom flats in a separate unit, and 35 in the main block, she added. Of these, 33 will be two-bedroom flats and two will be one-bedroom apartments.

Vikki Hiscocks, head of active ageing in Derwen Cymru, which is part of the Pobl Group, said the properties will provide “independent living”, meaning no care will be provided by Derwen Cymru – but people can still employ carers for themselves.

She said: “It is about them being able to live their lives independently. Active ageing is very much at the heart of Derwen’s approach to older people’s housing. We promote health and wellbeing by creating a wealth of opportunities for residents to live healthy, independent lives within their communities.

“There will be a community hub to run activities and social events. We want to provide a very positive lifestyle environment – where they can get to a community with lots of activities. The hub will give them an opportunity to socialise.

“There is a large population of older people in the area, with many bungalows nearby. What these residents are saying is that they would like to have a community space. They are asking for something specific for older people.

"The residents in the bungalows will be able to access the hub."

Ms Hiscocks said they want their residents to have a "good quality of life" and that they will be looking at providing exercise classes, such as dancing, Zumba or yoga, as well as activities such as coffee and chats or art classes.

"We will ask them what they want from this," she saidcontinued.

Mrs Hodges said each apartment in the upper level will have a balcony, with those in the bottom level having a patio.

The properties will benefit from solar panels, which will be used to generate electricity and help keep the bills down, she said.

Mrs Hodges added that "sufficient" parking will be provided at the complex.

She said: "The site will also offer an ensuite guest room – which will be able to be booked by residents for a small fee. It could be used when having families visiting, for example."

Ms Hiscocks there will also be the option to rent an allotment plot and residents will have access to a communal garden – both being on-site. There will be landscaped gardens for people to walk around.

Mrs Hodges said the £5.5m project benefited from a Welsh Government social housing grant to pay towards the costs.