Plans for 56 apartments and new centre for DENS on Paradise Depot site in Hemel Hempstead
The plans will deliver much needed affordable housing
Dacorum Borough Council is working on plans for 56 apartments and a new centre for DENS as part of the re-development of the Paradise Depot site in Hemel Hempstead.
It is proposed that the current site off St Albans Road - which currently contains the food bank, depot and offices run by DENS - will be redeveloped to accommodate 56 apartments, with a mix of one and two bedroom homes to help provide much needed affordable housing.
The council is also working with DENS to deliver a new centre for the local charity on the site.
The new building will provide a modern space, allowing DENS to continue to deliver essential community services, such as the food bank, alongside other services through the new DENS Centre.
Wendy Lewington, DENS CEO, said: “We are most grateful to Dacorum Borough Council for their full support in enabling this project to go ahead.
"The DENS Centre will bring together a number of our community-based services into one building, giving local people easier and quicker access to our services and the support they may need.
“The Community Café will provide training opportunities for our clients and local vulnerable adults, whilst providing nutritious and affordable café-style meals for the community.
"Our aim is for The DENS Centre to become a real community hub in the heart of this new development where people can access support, visit our Foodbank or just meet for a cuppa and a chat.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at Dacorum Borough Council on this new and exciting development."
DENS, a charitable organisation that supports homeless and vulnerable individuals in Dacorum, have been running a foodbank from Paradise Depot since 2010, providing food supplies and household provision to struggling local families.
The new facilities will also allow them to run Social Enterprise projects for their clients and other vulnerable or socially excluded adults to develop employability skills in a supportive environment.
As a result of the planned development, DENS foodbank will be moving in the next few months to a temporary site at Dacre House on Hillfield Road for the next few years.
All new homes will be available for social rent from the council.
Cllr Margaret Griffiths, portfolio holder for housing at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “It is great to be working on this redevelopment project with local homeless charity DENS.
"Together we both provide invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community and this project will provide the charity with fantastic facilities while enabling us to provide more affordable new homes in Dacorum for those who need them most.”
A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of the year at which point the formal consultation process with local residents will begin.