A DEVELOPER has unveiled plans to replace a former Hampshire police station with flats for the elderly.

Churchill Retirement Living is drawing up proposals to demolish the 68-year-old complex at Southampton Road, Lymington, and build one and two-bedroom apartments on the site.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the police station closed in October after being branded out-dated and no longer fit for purpose.

Officers transferred to the town hall in nearby Avenue Road.

Churchill Retirement Living says its proposal to transform the site will result in a "high quality, purpose-built retirement living development”.

But members of the influential Lymington Society have already raised concerns about the scheme.

Donald Mackenzie, the group's deputy chairman, cited the district council's recent decision to reject plans to build 44 retirement apartments at nearby Stanford Hill.

Referring to the Southampton Road proposal he said: "The Lymington Society is disappointed to see yet another application to build more unwanted sheltered flats for elderly people.

"The Society objected to the (Stanford Hill) application on the grounds it was overdevelopment and against the character of the area.

"Much the same argument applies on this site. Most of Southampton Road is characterised by family homes in reasonable plots with gardens and trees and constitutes one of the green arteries into the town."

Dr Mackenzie claimed that too many new flats had already been built in Lymington, several of which were still unsold.

"The Society feels that if ever more of these developments are allowed, it will completely change the character of the town and drive out young families and turn Lymington into a retirement destination rather than a vibrant community," he said.

But Churchill has hit back, claiming the area needs more housing for older people.

Managing director Stuart Goodwill said the number of local residents aged 75 and over was forecast to rise by 65% by 2030.

He added: “A new development in Lymington would help provide more choice for older people looking to downsize, which would in turn free up much-needed homes for younger families and first-time buyers.

"Local retirees want quality and choice when looking to downsize and we are keen to work with local stakeholders to provide this."


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