THE redevelopment of the bus station in Lymington high street has been given the go-ahead, four years after it was shut to the public.
Permission has been granted by New Forest District Council for a courtyard scheme of nine terraced homes, plus a retail unit and offices.
The breakthrough by Landford Estates Ltd follows two failed attempts for 17 flats by Ringwood-based Renaissance Retirement Ltd, one of which was rejected as “cramped and contrived”.
Lymington and Pennington Town Council had backed the latest scheme and approval was given by planning officers without consulting NFDC’s planning committee.
There were only two residents’ objections, with two in support.
A planning report said: “In conclusion it is considered that this scheme would positively enhance its sensitive heritage setting having regard to the poor quality environment that presently exists on the site and the high quality scheme that would result.
“The proposals would have acceptable impacts on neighbouring residential property having regard to this tightly developed town centre location with acceptable parking and access arrangements.”
Writing to NFDC in support of the scheme last month, civic group the Lymington Society said it was pleased to see that by “sticking to their guns” against Renaissance, planners had enabled a “good quality” scheme to come forward in its place.
Landford Estates Ltd bought the site from Go Ahead Group, the parent company of local operator MoreBus.
There had been unsuccessful efforts by Friends of Lymington Bus Station to have the site listed by NFDC as an asset of community value, giving local people the right to bid for it if it went on sale.
Members had hoped to launch a residents’ charity to run the 1,580-square metre site to host a shop, café, and dial-a-ride services.
Landford Estates Ltd was behind the redevelopment 10 years ago of Angel Courtyard on the other side of the road.
The approved bus station scheme is for a pair of two-storey terraces of four and five houses around a cobbled courtyard. Nine parking spaces would be provided in mews-style bays.
A new retail unit will narrow the existing gap off the high street to replace a “lost” building, with offices on the first and second floors above.
Rory Fitzwilliams, managing director of Landford Estates, told the A&T when the plans were first unveiled: “The architecture is deliberately traditional, with proportions, materials and detailing reflecting the historic built form in central Lymington.”
The scheme has been designed to respect the high street’s medieval burgage plots, long alleyways of properties that run off the main thoroughfare, Mr Fitzwilliams said.