Plan for 'older persons village' for over-55's near Preston attacked as 'abhorrent' by objector

An "older persons village" for over-55's in Grimsargh looks set to get the council green light tomorrow.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 3:45 pm

Preston' s planning committee has been recommended to approve the development which will include bungalows, apartments, a care home and even have its own GP surgery.

The scheme will have a three-storey block of 60 apartments, 20 two and three-bedroom bungalows and a two storey care facility with 60 bedrooms - adjacent to a site where another care home with 30 beds is also being planned.

But the village within a village has sparked objections from five local residents, including one who wrote to the council calling the whole idea "abhorrent."

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Land earmarked for the older persons' village in Grimsargh.

The unnamed objector said: "The concept of a retirement village is abhorrent to the concept of real village life.

"Older people should not have their own village, they should live with people of all ages and generations and this is not a natural way to live."

The development by local company Applethwaite Ltd is earmarked for fields off Preston Road in Grimsargh.

The "modest sized" GP surgery will look after the residents and the planning documents say: "There is an opportunity for existing residents in the area to also use this facility."

Due to the size of the scheme the development would normally be subject to a proportion of the properties being affordable homes, or a financial contribution being made towards affordale housing elsewhere.

But the city council has agreed to waive that because the developer claims it would not be a viable project if that was the case.

A report to the planning committee says an independent surveyor commissioned by the council "concludes that the development would not yield a profit and therefore can't provide a financial contribution towards affordable housing."

The surveyor had advised the authority that it was "reasonable to justify that no affordable housing contribution would be required."

The proposed apartment block will comprise 41 one-bed flats and 19 two-bed over three floors. It will have a therapy room, a hairdresser's shop, a multi-use function room, a restaurant and kitchen and a communal gym.

The care home, which will have 30 rooms on the ground floor and 30 on the first, will also include eight large day rooms, a cafe/bar, two quiet rooms, a family room, a cinema room and laundry.

Amongst the concerns raised by locals were loss of privacy, overlooking, over-development of the site, the buildings being too high and a loss of trees.

One resident said there were "already traffic issues in Grimsargh and this will only make things worse."