Developers say plans for more retirement flats in Marlborough will free up more family and affordable houses in the town.

McCarthy & Stone wants to build 27 one and two-bedroom apartments on the Clarke and Rodway Garage site, on Granham Hill, with a parking space for each flat.

At a public exhibition in St John’s School on Tuesday afternoon the main concern voiced by Marlborough residents was the large number of retirement apartments already in Marlborough.

Alice James from McCarthy & Stone, said: “We find about 60 per cent of people move from a five mile radius into this type of development so you get local people downsizing from family homes and those people moving into the family homes free up the starter homes so it starts a housing chain reaction.”

Wiltshire Council will take a financial contribution from the developers, which is likely to be put into affordable housing schemes.

The apartments are aimed at people over 55 who want to downsize, but don’t want to move into a typical retirement complex.

“This caters for a certain segment of retired people,” said architect Madalitso Alfazema.

“The average age of people who go into these developments is 70 to 78 so people who are retiring at 55 can’t get into one of these developments and what people say is ‘if we retire at that age we want to downsize, but without all the communal stuff because it makes it feel institutional’.”

About 30 people, as well as town councillors, went to the public exhibition to see the plans previously shown to residents in neighbouring properties to the garage and local stakeholders.

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