WORK has begun on a £7.7 million extra care housing scheme for older people.

The Llys Madoc development, in Plas Madoc, near Wrexham, will protect local construction jobs and herald a new era for those older people who want to live independently, say those behind the project.

Pennaf Housing Group, based in St Asaph, Denbighshire, recently awarded the contract for the work to Wates Living Space, who have local offices in Chirk.

The development will include innovative features such as an eco-friendly roof area covered with plants to attract birds and butterflies.

Contractors have already started preliminary safety work on the site and the development of 52 one and two-bedroom independent luxury apartments is due to be completed by the end of next year.

The scheme will be managed jointly by Wrexham Council, who will provide professional care and support services on the site, and Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, who are part of the Pennaf Housing Group.

It will also include a hi-tech call alarm service, and community areas including a restaurant for residents, a hairdressing salon and function rooms.

Roger Waters, chairman of Pennaf, said: “We are very pleased to appoint Wates Living Space as the contractors on site and also look forward to working in partnership with Wrexham Council on this first class facility.”

Deiniol Evans, director of development and technical services for Pennaf said: “The scheme has been designed to the very highest standards, incorporating many innovative features to meet the benchmark ‘excellence’ standard in sustainable development.

“The roofing area will be topped with a specialist type of sedum planting which will be the largest of its kind in North Wales designed to provide a diverse habitat for wildlife, attracting birds and butterflies at the same time as reducing the visual impact of the building in the area.”

Steve Jackson, business unit director for Wates Living Space said: “The project will be a major boost for the local economy providing new employment and training opportunities for local people as well as investment in the wider community.”

Cllr Mark Pritchard, Wrexham Council’s lead member for housing and planning, said: “I am delighted that work has started on this excellent project. By working in partnership with Pennaf Housing to develop Llys Madoc, the council is well placed to deliver affordable specialist accommodation and extra care services for older people living in our communities.”