Work is underway to transform a community centre in Whitehill & Bordon into studio flats for local homeless people.

Pinewood Village Hall, on Rydal Close, is to be fitted with ten individual ‘pods’ to serve as much-needed temporary accommodation.

Construction company Velocity RDT started work this week and expects to complete the project by the autumn.

Cllr Julie Butler, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Welfare and Community Integration, said:

“We know there is a shortage of temporary accommodation within the district for single homeless people, but it is not an easy issue to fix.

“This is a brilliantly innovative solution to a serious issue. It will provide comfortable, safe and supported accommodation for homeless people while also making use of a community building that had fallen out of use.

“I am really excited that the work has begun and I cannot wait to see the project completed.”

Ten pods are planned overall, with seven contained inside the existing building and three more in the garden.

Once in use the pods will be run by the homelessness charity Two Saints, which will provide management, support and maintenance.

The design incorporates several innovative features, such as:

  •  photovoltaic solar panels generating renewable electricity for the benefit of residents and in support of climate change measures
  • A sophisticated i-mist fire suppression system and alarm
  • Building sensors to monitor the health of the building fabric
  • CCTV to improve the safety, management and welfare of residents.
  • sedum roofs for the external pods, which reduce water run-off, improve insulation, and encourage biodiversity
Work begins on pods plan for homeless people