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Letter: Lymington police station plans – family homes needed, not retirement flats

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SIR – I see that the developers of the Lymington police station claim that the 32 retirement apartments they propose to build on the site are “much needed” in the town (A&T, 30th July).

Really? A quick look at the leading property search website shows that of the 120 properties currently for sale in Lymington no fewer than 43 are retirement flats. Even in the currently overheated property market there already seems to be an oversupply of this kind of accommodation.

This is caused firstly by massive building of these flats in recent years, and secondly by the fact that those who buy them tend to die in comparatively few years, which brings a constant supply of the properties back onto the market.

An artist's impression of Churchill Retirement Living's plans for the former Lymington police station site
An artist's impression of Churchill Retirement Living's plans for the former Lymington police station site

Lymington is still a lovely town, and bound to be attractive to retirees looking to relocate to the area, but its character has already been changed greatly by the building of so many retirement homes.

In the meantime it is virtually impossible for younger key workers to buy in the area.

My own daughter, a local girl raised and educated in the Forest and now a hard-working primary school teacher in a Forest school has no chance of ever being able to afford even a small flat in the town, even with help with the deposit provided by the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Instead she commutes back and forth from Bournemouth each day.

The same applies to nurses and many other vital professions who are priced out of the market, simply because they are 40 years too young. With all respect to our older citizens (of which I’m one myself), we are rapidly creating a community that is very top heavy in age terms.

We urgently need not yet-more retirement properties but decent, affordable accommodation for those whose work supports the quality of life of the town and the surrounding area.

Chris Elliott,

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