SOCIAL housing landlords Aster has started work converting a block of bedsits in Stockbidge into one-bedroom flats for the elderly and vulnerable.

The company will turn Rosalind Hill House in the High Street, currently comprising 15 bedsit units and two one-bedroom flats, into 13 one-bedroom apartments.

Aster Property is working in partnership with contractor Herbert H Drew and Son, and architects Kenn Scaddan Associates.

Aster, supported by Test Valley Borough Council, has invested around £1million to create the new units, which will feature separate lounge, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

New communal areas will also be provided, including internal mobility scooter storage and re-charging facilities.

Residents will remain at the development while the works take place.

Aster say work will be restricted to weekdays between 8am to 5pm, keeping any disruption to an absolute minimum.

The refurbished flats will be handed over in three phases, with the first expected to be completed in May. The final properties are due to be finished in October.

Mike McCarthy, Aster Property’s operations director, said: “The bedsits at Rosalind Hill House were reaching the end of their useful lives and were in urgent need of replacing. We’ve liaised closely with the customers living at the scheme and are investing heavily to bring the building up to modern standards.”