Work starts on controversial retirement flats

CONSTRUCTION has started on a retirement development in Ringwood that sparked a wave of protest among residents.

McCarthy & Stone, one of the town’s major employers, has begun work on 33 one and two-bedroom apartments for people over the age of 60 at Parsonage Barn Lane and Mount Pleasant Lane.

Residents criticised the plan as overdevelopment, and said it would lead to traffic chaos at the school and provide apartments that are “not needed” in Ringwood.

A previous plan for 39 apartments was turned down and rejected on appeal and a scaled down plan for 33 apartments was also refused, leading to an appeal being heard by a Government inspector.

The company won their battle, and is now looking forward to welcoming residents from 2015. Apartments will be on sale off plan this summer.

Jacqui Meenan, sales and marketing manager for McCarthy & Stone, said: “Everything we do is built around a belief that later life can be rich, rewarding and fulfilling, and starting construction of our Retirement Living development marks an exciting milestone in helping the over 60s in Ringwood make the most of later life.

“When complete, the apartments will be low maintenance in design and will benefit from modern fittings and good security, and will have a number of specialist features.”

McCarthy & Stone has built more than 45,000 retirement apartments in 1,000 different schemes, offering the chance to retain home ownership while living in an apartment specifically designed for later life, with a shared lounge, guest suite, laundry room and a lift, plus a house manager.

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