CIVIC chiefs have given their backing to a new £26 million housing scheme.

Southampton City Council has approved the contract to build 84 flats at Wimpson Lane, Maybush.

Expected to be completed in 2019, the facility, known as Potters Court, will be the largest Extra Care Housing scheme in the city.

The flats, two-thirds of which will be one-bedroom apartments, will be available through the council to those in need of assisted living.

A general needs block of 15 flats, for people over the age of 50, will also be built on the same site.

The council will team up with Drew Smith Ltd to develop the site, previously home to “ageing” council homes. after the pair agreed a price of just over £26 million for the construction.

The Southampton-based developers previously completed the city council’s other Extra Care Housing scheme, Erskine Court, in 2016.

It also recently started work on the long-awaited Townhill Park development – which is expected to cost around £100 million.

Announcing the decision, leader of Southampton City Council, Simon Letts (pictured above right), said: “Potters Court will join our recently opened Erskine Court in our ongoing effort to provide high-quality, Extra Care Housing to our residents.

“We’re also looking to the future in its design, with energy efficient features like ground-source heat pumps and a rooftop solar array that will help us lower operating costs and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Alongside the one-bedroom apartments, Potters Court will include one-third two-bedroom apartments.

It will also have a communal lounge and guest suite, plus an onsite nursery, a kitchen and dining facility, which can be used by others within the wider locality.

The city council hope the facility will reduce its “significant shortfall” in its housing with care units.

As part of a drive to reduce this number, the authority opened Erskine Court in December 2016.

The £9.8m ‘housing with care’ complex, in Lordshill, is owned and managed by Southampton City Council and has 54 self-contained flats.

Of those, 37 are two bedroom and 17 are one bedroom.

With the completion of Erskine Court, the authority currently has 169 units available in the city.

However, research by the Southampton Integrated Commissioning Unit shows a further 457 are needed – even after the development of Potters Court.

A city council spokesperson said: “We have identified potential sites for further developments to meet this need, most of which are in the council’s ownership.

“Though we are cannot announce which sites these are at this time, we hope to make an announcement about the next project soon.”

Construction on Potters Court and the nearby flats is planned to start in January 2018.