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Opinion still divided on Bishop's Waltham retirement complex
11:20am Thursday 6th February 2014 in News
Plans for a retirement development on a scrapyard in a Hampshire village will be decided tomorrow.
Developer McCarthy & Stone wants to build 32 retirement apartments and three cottages on a site in Bishop’s Waltham.
It has drawn a mixed reaction from residents, but is being recommended for approval by council planners.
Winchester City Council members will have the final say this week.
The 0.8 hectare brownfield site, at Travers Yard, on Coppice Hill, currently houses a scrapyard where there has been a decline in activity in recent years. The main development is a two to three-storey building, with flats and communal facilities in the centre, with three two-storey houses and a one-storey car park.
At a public exhibition, residents raised concerns about road safety and access to the village centre with more mobility scooters on the road.
But a further 11 support letters stated the need for homes to allow people to downsize and release larger houses, while others praised the attractiveness of the scheme.
Bishop’s Waltham Parish Council is supportive, acknowledging a need for older people’s housing.
A council report recommends approval subject to 19 conditions, including pedestrian crossing improvements at Coppice Hill, a £382,612 contribution towards affordable housing and £7,313 towards providing open space.
McCarthy & Stone say its design is meant to give an impression of a large country house with a number of associated outbuildings, such as a gatekeeper’s cottage and stables. It said it had also addressed the site’s landscaping and is looking to introduce manicured lawns, a rose and herb garden and is looking at the possibility of reinstating a pond. Developers say the properties have already had 142 enquiries.
Shane Paull, regional managing director, added that the homes would help meet a growing housing need in the area and stimulate the housing chain by getting residents in later life to relinquish their family-sized homes.
He said the proposal had been carefully designed “to feel like it is part of the Bishop’s Waltham community”.
The decisive committee meeting is being held today at 9.30am at Winchester Guildhall.
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