What is a Foyer?
Loreburn Housing Association has been given the go-ahead by Dumfries and Galloway Council to redevelop the site of the former Garrick Hospital in Stranraer by building dementia-friendly housing alongside an innovative “youth foyer”.
The proposals, which were designed by Aitken Turnbull Architects, will see the creation of eight one-bed and four two-bed “extra care” dementia-friendly homes. New parking spaces for 37 vehicles will also be created on the site. Built alongside the new homes, the Youth Foyer will offer supported accommodation for up to 12 young people, in order to combat youth homelessness and to increase employment and opportunity.
Youth Foyers, which are recognised as international best practice, provide safe and secure housing, support and training for young people aged 16 -25. The Stranraer Foyer will be a first for Dumfries and Galloway and only the second foyer in Scotland.
Young people living at the Foyer will be expected to be either in education, an apprenticeship, other employment or training, and will have access to volunteering opportunities within the community. The Youth Foyer will also offer community access areas, a state of the art conference facility, breakout spaces and access to WiFi, creating a transformational space for Stranraer and Wigtownshire.
Q: What is a youth foyer?
A: A youth foyer provides supported accommodation for young people, in order to combat youth homelessness and lack of opportunity. Foyers are recognised as international best practice and operate throughout the world, including the UK and Europe. There is currently only one foyer in Scotland (in Aberdeen), however some of the team at Loreburn Housing Association, including the Chief Executive, have previous experience in setting up and running youth foyers in Cumbria.
The Stranraer youth foyer will cater for 16 -25 year olds at risk of homelessness, giving them a stable, secure affordable environment and support from trained staff. They will also have access to education, training and employment services, and an opportunity to develop independent living skills.
Q: Why are these young people at risk of homelessness?
By far the largest cause of youth homelessness is relationship breakdown, usually between young people and their parents or step-parents. Many have experienced long-term issues at home, often linked to health issues, leaving them without family support networks. Other reasons can include young people living in poverty or young people leaving care.
Q: How many young people will live here?
Q: Where will it be?
A: On the site of the former Garrick Hospital on Edinburgh Road, Stranraer.
Q: What else will there be on the site?
A: As well as the foyer, the planning application for the site also includes 12 extra care dementia friendly supported flats, six adapted bungalows a new access road, 37 parking spaces and landscaping.
Q: When will construction work start and finish?
A: The project gained planning permission from Dumfries & Galloway Council on 11 January 2018. Work is expected to start in spring 2018 and finish in late summer 2019.
Q: I live near this site and I am worried that this will bring lots of troubled youngsters to my doorstep. Will it?
A: A foyer does not house disengaged young people – it will be for young people who are motivated to volunteer, study or work. The foyer will have a “Something for Something” culture and the young people living there will be expected to make a positive contribution to their local communities. All youngsters must be engaged in employment, training or education. In addition young people living at the foyer will be required to volunteer their time
Q: I live near the site. Should I be worried about disruption and noise during the construction period?
A: As with any construction project, some level of noise and disruption is unavoidable. However, there will be a traffic management plan in place to minimise the impact of delivery and site traffic. Hours of work will be restricted to 7.30am till 6pm and weekend work will not be permitted without the written approval of Loreburn Housing Association. We would normally expect our contractor to be part of the “Considerate Constructors” scheme which requires contractors to follow a set code of conduct with regards to their surroundings and environmental impact of their activities.
Q: Will the development be designed to fit in with the surrounding area?
A: The development has been designed by award-winning local architects Aitken Turnbull who have an excellent track record in residential design. The development will also be eco-friendly and sustainable, using a district heating system and photovoltaics. You can view the designs on the Dumfries and Galloway Council planning portal using this link: https://eaccess.dumgal.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU2FQCGBK8600
Q: Will this development result in the loss of on street parking spaces on Clenoch Street and Edinburgh Road?
The original plans for the development have been altered to address the concerns raised by residents living near the site, especially for those who live on Clenoch Street. We have removed the driveways, which were accessed from Clenoch Street, from the front of the bungalows and contained all the parking within the site itself. We also removed the build outs from Edinburgh Road on the updated plans. This means the parking situation on both Clenoch Street and Edinburgh Road should be largely unaffected.
Q: How will this project benefit the wider community?
A: Public areas within the foyer will be available for the whole community to use, for community groups and workshops. Meeting rooms and desks will also be available for rent. As the foyer will be located on the same site as the dementia specific accommodation, it will also offer opportunities for intergenerational projects that involve both the young people and older people.