Councillors urge planners to reject town gateway retirement scheme

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Renaissance Retirement
The plan for the Stanford Hill site was for 45 flats instead of a previous design for 50

PLANS for 45 retirement flats at one of the gateways into Lymington are being opposed by the town council as “overbearing”.

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The three-storey scheme submitted to New Forest District Council would involve demolishing a row of four properties on the eastern side of Stanford Hill, just south of the junction with Highfield.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council is advising NFDC to reject the proposals, saying there is not enough infrastructure to support a development of this size, and starter homes should be prioritised over retirement properties.

“The plans are overbearing, too dense and do not comply with local distinctiveness,” said councillors.

Of 18 comments submitted to NFDC, 15 were objections, including one from the Lymington Society which said it would harm one of the town’s tree-lined “green arteries”.

The application said it would provide the one and two-bedroom apartments with 34 parking spaces, and create three full-time jobs.

The scheme is from Pegasus Life Group, which in 2018 bought Ringwood-based Renaissance Retirement. They are both part of the Lifestory development group.

A Renaissance spokesperson said: “While we note the town council’s comments, we’re of the view that the design is right for the site’s location and our scheme responds well to the street scene.

“When it comes to density, national planning guidelines encourage schemes like the one we’re proposing when they’re on sustainable sites. It’s also worth noting that if planning permission is granted, we’ll be making a Community Infrastructure Levy contribution, which will go towards funding wider local infrastructure improvements.

“As for affordable and starter homes, we fully recognise the need that exists for these kinds of properties locally. However, our proposals also seek to help meet a specific housing need that New Forest District Council has identified and which are supported by existing and emerging local plan policy.”

Pegasus recently sold the Lyndhurst Park Hotel to Highcliffe-based Hoburne Developments, having failed twice to gain approval from the national park authority for about 90 homes mainly comprising retirement dwellings.

The deadline for comments has passed. NFDC is scheduled to decide on the proposals by 24th December.

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