PLANS have been drawn up to turn the former Sandham Middle School site into supported housing for elderly people, with work expected to start in the next two years.

The former Sandown school was demolished in 2017 and the site has remained empty ever since.

The Isle of Wight Council has now announced plans to build 'extra care' housing, with homes and facilities, enabling older people to live independently in the community.

The development would form part of the council's £123 million Independent Island Living strategy, announced in 2017, to create more than 1,200 extra care places for older people and people with disabilities by 2030 and reduce the number living in residential care.

The first extra care facility is currently being built in Ryde.

Read more: Plans to build a supported housing 'village' for older people in Ryde

The plans for the Sandham site include a playing field and community hub, which may include a pharmacy, nursery provision or a small shop — although no final decisions about the facilities have yet been made.

The scheme has been put out to tender and the council is seeking a development partner it can work with to bring the project to life.

A council spokesperson said: "The council has promised to bring forward a proposal to allow the community to benefit from the old Sandham Middle School site.

"There is a bidder event taking place tomorrow (Wednesday) so residents may see people walking around the site.

"Once a partner has been identified the council will start a consultation process with residents to find out their expectations and needs for the site, and get ideas for how the development could be created.

"This could take a while, and we expect work to start on site in about two years."

The spokesperson said no final decision had yet been made for the future of the site, but the extra care facility was its preferred option.