Developer wins planning battle for block of 43 retirement flats

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Retirement flats plan
Designs for the retirement flats in Hythe

A DEVELOPER has won an appeal to build 43 retirement properties in Hythe.

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Churchill Retirement Living was initially refused permission for the new homes on the site of the former builders’ merchant, PC Building Supplies, at 2 South Street when the application went before New Forest District Council.

It said the development of 28 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom properties would have an impact on the nearby conservation area and listed buildings.

The company challenged that refusal and now planning inspector Harold Stephens has given the go-ahead.

In his ruling he said: “From the evidence that is before me I conclude that there would be some less than substantial harm to the aesthetic [and] architectural significance of the conservation area.”

He added: “I find that the proposal would deliver significant social and economic benefits. There is a clear and convincing justification for the scheme. There is a need for housing, and for retirement housing.”

In addition to the apartments, which are aimed at over-60s, there will be a communal lounge, 14 car parking spaces and a guest suite to allow friends or family members to stay.

Churchill’s chairman and CEO Spencer McCarthy said: “After a planning application process that took much longer than we had hoped it would, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped towards achieving this very positive result.

“There is a compelling overall housing need in Hythe and the surrounding area, especially for older people, and our site is in a highly sustainable and accessible location for a new development of this kind, so we believe this decision is good news for the village.

“Allowing older people to downsize will also help free up more homes for families and younger people in the local area.”

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