Older Persons' Care


Apple TreesAvonbourneEdwardstow CourtHaywardThe LakesWindsor Street


Arlington Gardens, Grantham NG31 7GQ


Project Type: Development of 64-bed care centre

Project Value: £5.5 million

Developer: Brackley Investments

Client: The Orders of St John Care Trust

Project Director: Geoff Simm

Architect: Hunters

Constructor: Stepnell Ltd

Ownership & Management: Ropemaker Properties Ltd

Client Objectives:

OSJCT required a new purpose-built care home to deliver personally assessed dementia and intermediate care for elderly residents within Grantham.  In addition to delivering care to existing residents of two OSJCT homes that were to be closed, Apple Trees delivered additional capacity to allow care to be delivered to more residents.

Development Solution:

OSJCT, Brackley and Hunters worked together to deliver a design comprising 64 single ensuite bedrooms underpinned by the principles of good design and spaces with dementia promoted by the Dementia Services Development Centre of Stirling University.

Development Outcome:

The 3258 sq m home is split into four households with 16 bedrooms each. One of the households provides reablement care to help and support people to return to their own homes and maintain their independence. The other three households deliver care to people living with dementia. 

Construction of the development commenced in November 2012 with completion reached in February 2014.


1 Mitre Way, Old Sarum

We can solve technical challenges that others walk away from!

Brackley was brought in to develop a care home on a potential site that was already owned by an operator with whom it had extensively worked with previously.

The problem was that their site was blighted by a unique phenomenon: vibration from a nearby heavy industrial process was materialising as a reverberated sound nuisance in a number of homes in the new housing development adjacent to the site. Early dialogue with the local authority environmental health officer established that as the proposed development was for full-time dementia and nursing care, the requirement would be that the design and construction of the building should attenuate the vibration passively to such an extent that any remaining reverberated sound would be below the threshold of human audibility. Furthermore, the solution to achieve this needed to be detailed and justified as part of the planning application.

The Brackley team engaged a number of specialists and consultants, including the UK’s leading authority on reverberated sound. However, after a period of comprehensive on-site testing and analysis, it became clear that the orthodox approach in similar situations, such as hospitals built over underground railways, isolating the building on ‘isomeric’ bearings was both impractical and prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, it was not certain of meeting the required levels of attenuation.

Notwithstanding this setback, Brackley worked hard with its team, looking into alternative solutions, and together identified an innovative approach to vibration attenuation in the form of ‘mass damping’ – albeit that the science and the data for this technology was still very new. The proposal was to replace the traditional foundations and ground-floor construction of the building with a substantial concrete raft and accordingly the proposed design was tested and developed through an iterative process of computer model simulations until a demonstrably viable and robust solution was refined.

The local authority was sufficiently convinced with the proposal to grant planning consent on the condition that the building was constructed as designed and then tested on completion to verify that any remaining reverberated sound was inaudible.

Brackley was equally confident in the design solution and its ability to construct to the required specification and proceeded to invest and develop the 120-bed scheme. At completion, the required acoustic tests exactly matched the predicted results of attenuated reverberated sound and the building was passed for occupation!

  • 120-bed Dementia & Nursing Care Home

  • Built for The Orders of St John Care Trust based on standardised household model.

  • The home opened in spring 2016.

  • Specialist foundation solution required to mitigate ground borne vibration from nearby steel cutting factory.

  • Site originally allocated for employment use.


Fosse Way, Stow-on-the-Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold - A challenge from the outset

A 4.5-acre site, along the historic Fosse Way, within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This project presented numerous challenges right from the outset.

With this scheme, we aimed to provide a much-needed new care home for The Orders of St John Care Trust, following the closure of the Trust’s former home which was no longer fit for purpose. We aimed to introduce extra care apartments alongside the care home to create a care campus environment to serve the needs of the local residents of Stow.

A number of planning and development constraints were overcome by the multi-disciplinary team at Brackley. The entire site was covered by the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and was located outside of the settlement boundary of the town, along the historic Fosse Way!

A Grampian condition, requiring increased capacity to be provided to the foul sewage network also had to be resolved.

The team at Brackley was heavily engaged with both the local community and Cotswold District Council planning department during the planning process, and were regular contributors to the towns local economy. Particularly in the form of the towns famous Huffkins bakery and usually prior to attending the fortnightly town council meetings!

Following several months of amendments to the buildings form, materials, height, scale, mass, and the inclusion of what has since been referred to as the ‘ski chalet’, the scheme was granted planning consent in May 2014.

Dementia Care Home

Brackley worked closely with The Orders of St John Care Trust to design a bespoke, specialist dementia care home which would cater to the Trust’s needs, and enable the provision of the highest level of dementia care.

Following the grant of planning consent, the Trust purchased the site in January 2016, with Stepnell commencing building work in summer 2016. This exciting development is due to reach practical completion in spring 2017.

Extra Care Apartments

Outline planning consent was obtained for 44 extra care apartments, to provide a ‘care campus’ within Stow-on-the-Wold. The consented site was purchased by McCarthy and Stone in August 2015, which is currently seeking reserved matters consent.

Hybrid planning consent obtained for:
48-bed dementia care home
44 extra care apartments

Planning constraints included:
Site located entirely within Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and outside the settlement boundary of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Bespoke Design:
Specialist dementia care home designed specifically with, and for, The Orders of St John Care Trust.

Exceptional Setting:
Set over three storeys, the development looks out over the rolling Cotswold hills.

The Orders of St John Care Trust
Site with full planning consent for the care home, purchased by The Orders of St John Care Trust in January 2016.

McCarthy & Stone
Site with outline planning consent for 44 Extra Care Units purchased by McCarthy and Stone in August 2015, which is currently seeking reserved matters consent.

  • 48-bed Dementia Care Home and 44 Extra Care Apartments

  • Obtained planning consent outside the settlement boundary of the town and
    inside the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  • Dementia Care Home designed specifically for The Orders of St John Care Trust.

  • Development required increase in capacity of existing foul sewer.

  • Extra Care site sold to McCarthy & Stone in August 2015.

  • Care Home site sold to The Orders of St John Care Trust.


Corn Croft Lane, Devizes

  • 80-bed Dementia & Nursing Care Home

  • Bespoke design built for The Orders of St John Care Trust.

  • The home opened in 2015.

  • 3-storey care home with height restrictions due to overlooking concerns as located on housing estate.

  • Specialist roof design required to reduce the height of the building.

  • Easement along back of the site, therefore bespoke design required.


Spine Road East, South Cerney

  • 64-bed Dementia Care Home

  • Site originally consented for 64-bed motel.

  • Planning consent obtained within Cotswold Water Park for a non-leisure use.

  • Dementia Care Home first STEPCARE design.

  • Ephemeral pond originally located in the centre of the site.

  • Tranquil setting, with nearby amenities for relatives of residents.


37 Windsor St, Cheltenham GL52 2DG

  • 81-bed Dementia & Nursing Care Home

  • Bespoke design built for The Orders of St John Care Trust.

  • The home opened in 2013.

  • Site purchased with consent for multiuse employment and 50 bed care home on allocated employment site, planning consent obtained by Brackley for 81-bed care home.

  • Underground culvert influenced the design of the home.

  • Major drainage diversion required.