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Developer tries again with new retirement flats plan
FRESH plans have been submitted for retirement flats after a previous planning application sparked a welter of protest.
McCarthy and Stone wanted to build 39 flats off Mount Pleasant Lane in Ringwood, but the plans were unpopular, with 23 letters of objection and a petition of 132 signatures against the proposal received by the district council.
The Ringwood Society said the area is surrounded by open space and the plan would “have a dominating impact on the area” and be “out of scale”.
The plans were refused and a subsequent appeal failed.
Now the developer has scaled back its plans to 33 flats, widened the footprint of the scheme and brought the buildings back from the edge of the site, hoping ito make it less imposing.
Objectors have a week to make their feelings known to the district council, whose planning officers have warmed to the scaled-back scheme.
An officer’s report said: “The result is a less cramped development than the previously refused proposal, and one that has a more spacious setting.
“The proposal deletes a large three-storey corner feature that was a particularly inappropriate feature of the previous development.”
The report added: “The development also has a more traditional appearance than the previous scheme. Because the site is relatively self-contained, the proposal would not have a material impact on other nearby properties.”
The Highways Authority raised no objection to the previous plans, though local people say problems would be caused by extra vehicle movements during and after the build.
One campaigner against the scheme, who is a legal secretary, said: “The plans do look a lot better but my principal objection to this is that there is just no need for retirement flats here.
“I see this all the time in my job, where someone spends a quarter of a million pounds on a retirement flat, then when they go into a care home or pass away their families are left paying for the running costs of the flat, which then doesn’t sell for years, and when it does it goes for peanuts.
“What we need here are homes for younger people, who can’t find anywhere in the town where they grew up.
“And I still say the scheme is too big for that site.”
Nigel Appleton, representing McCarthy & Stone, said: “While there are currently approximately 5,848 home owners over 85 years of age in New Forest District, by 2030 this number will have risen to around 12,947.”