Retirement homes plan wins support
9:20am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
PLANS for a retirement home in North Swindon have been submitted to the council for approval.
If developers McCarthy &Stone are given the go-ahead, the 24 one and two-bedroomed apartments will be built on the vacant land adjacent to the Blunsdon Arms, in Lady Lane.
The plans were submitted following consultation with the local community and have already been altered after members of the public said eight parking spaces would not be sufficient.
It has since been increased to 14 following pressure from residents and ward councillors. The site earmarked for the development has existing permission for a 40-room hotel.
A planning application had also been submitted to redevelop the site for a food outlet, but it was withdrawn following backlash from residents and MP Justin Tomlinson, who was a councillor for the area at the time.
To understand residents’ views and to receive feedback on the proposals, McCarthy & Stone offered residents and local representatives early meetings and invited more than 1,000 people to a public exhibition in December The proposed redevelopment has had strong support, with more than 90 per cent of the feedback received approving of the proposal in principle, particularly the improvement of the vacant site.
McCarthy & Stone’s regional MD Shane Paull, said: “We are encouraged by the level of support that we have received for our proposals and have now submitted a planning application to Swindon Council.
“Following discussions with the community and the comments received, we recognised that parking provision was a key priority for residents. Therefore we have increased the level of car parking provision by 30 per cent.
“It is important that a community meets the housing needs of all its residents, and this development would help meet a growing, housing need in the area.
“ In Swindon specifically 13.8 per cent of its population is currently aged over 65, with the expected population of this age group set to increase to 57,000 by 2035.
“Introducing this form of housing to an area has benefits for the wider community as well.
“For example, on average each development represents an investment of £5m into the local economy and on moving, residents in later life tend to release family-sized housing, which helps to stimulate the housing chain and enable young families and first time buyers to have a better opportunity within the housing market.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson welcomed the application.
He said: “The local community support the principal of this development as it finally would remove the long-standing threat of a fast food take away, which has previously been fought off.
“However, there was concerns about whether adequate parking provision was being made and during the consultation period, residents and councillors rightly raised their concerns about this. The developers will have to demonstrate that these concerns have been addressed.”
Anyone who was unable to attend the public exhibition but who would like further information on the proposals should visit www.mccarthyandstone- consultation.co.uk/swindon.