A 390-BED care ‘village’ application has been submitted for the Matchams Stadium site at St Leonards which could create sixty jobs.

An outline application to Dorset Council asks for 330 extra care beds and 60 care beds with associated communal and care facilities on the 52 hectare site.

Part of the site will be devoted to a nature conservation area, if approved.

The application, from Senior Living, also includes the demolition of existing buildings and the retention of the majority of the 400 parking spaces on the site.

An online consultation in the autumn, promoted by writing to more than 500 homes in the area, attracted 428 page views with an exhibition attracting around 50-60 people.

Most of those who responded on a paper feedback form said they did not believe there was a need for more purpose-built accommodation for older people in the area while only 2 out of 28 said they would support the proposals.

Salisbury Journal: Matchams Layout

Of the positive comments one said that re-development of the site was long overdue, another said they would welcome a positive use for the land, rather than twice-weekly race nights for bangers and stock cars.

The developers claim that building the complex should result in releasing 140 family sized homes and 80 other homes on to the market through older people moving from underoccupied properties into the new development.

Constraints to the site include protected heathland within 400metres, protected species on the site and that the site is within the Green belt, although the developers say they would have a 15 metre ‘no build’ buffer zone along the north and south east boundaries

They also say they would ensure that extra care apartment blocks and cottages are arranged off the existing access road in an “organic pattern” with the Village Centre block directly off the main access.

The development would include 15 two-storey apartment blocks, 143 2-bed cottages or bungalows; 55 3-bed cottages with the three-storey village centre building having 32 one and two-bed apartments, a restaurant, café/bar, meeting rooms and a well-being centre with pool, studio, treatment rooms and a gym.

Comments on the application, which is only ‘in principle’ at this stage, remain open until February 25th. The Dorset Council planning reference is 2021/05751.