AN INDEPENDENT living scheme for the over-55s in Dorchester is virtually complete and is expected to be full by next summer.

Signature House at Brewery Square has 42 apartments offering older people the chance to live independently in the heart of the county town.

The development by the Somerset Redstone Trust started welcoming its first residents and has already sold seven, with several more at various stages of completion.

With the scheme now ’99 per cent complete’ the trust has now teamed up with the marketing team at Brewery Square and Savills as the second phase of sales is launched.

Sales manager John Clarke said it was just a case of waiting for the weather to improve before the impressive gardens at the heart of the complex are completed and everything else is pretty much on track.

He said: “We are 99 per cent complete and ready to go now.”

Mr Clarke said the apartments were designed to allow people over 55 to enjoy an independent atmosphere but there were also communal areas that residents could choose to use and he was already seeing the community spirit developing on site.

He said: “Our owners are very happy here.

“They have started their own Sunday lunch club and things like that, which is the communal spirit we really are striving for.”

The shared facilities include a cafe and communal lounge, a roof terrace and a library.

There are also regular activities and events and Signature House is developing an association with the Dorchester U3A (University of the Third Age).

Mr Clarke said the response since the apartments went on the market had been excellent and sales were right on track at where they expected to be.

He added that he was confident that, now they were working with Brewery Square and Savills, the apartments would all be snapped up by next spring or summer.

Mr Clarke said: “We have had enquiries from as far flung as Brazil, New Zealand and Australia.”

Signature House is holding an open day on Saturday, March 29 for people to come along and find out more about what the scheme has to offer.

Anyone interested can come along between 11am and 3.30pm.