Bid to remove minimum age limit for buying bungalows on Preston estate after 'unique request'

New bungalows that were due to be reserved for the over-55s when they are built on the outskirts of Preston could be made available to people of all ages – after the developer discovered who was likely to want to buy them.
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It is just a month since Arbor Living was given the go-ahead for a four-dwelling mini-estate on land off Garstang Road in Barton, having told Preston City Council that it wanted to create “retirement” properties.

However, the firm is now asking the authority to remove the self-imposed age limit on the purchase of the plots following enquiries from adult children expressing an interest in buying separate bungalows for them and their parents. Their aim is to be in close proximity to their parents in case they need their help, whilst also allowing them to maintain their independence.

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The company, which specialises in providing homes for the over-55s, says it has never come across instances on any of its other developments of potential purchasers wanting to acquire two properties for that reason.

The site off Garstang Road in Barton where the new bungalows will be built - but how old will you have to be to buy one? (image: Google)The site off Garstang Road in Barton where the new bungalows will be built - but how old will you have to be to buy one? (image: Google)
The site off Garstang Road in Barton where the new bungalows will be built - but how old will you have to be to buy one? (image: Google)

In a planning statement lodged with the city council as part of its original application, Arbor Living said that it was seeking to meet market demand for single-level living “for those looking to downsize or live their later years in a small community [of] similar aged people”.

The developer said that it had turned its attention to the small enclave off Garstang Road – in between the Kopper Kettle home furniture store and a major new housing estate – because of interest in bungalows in that part of Preston, as well as the surrounding amenities on offer to future residents.

Explaining their reasoning for wanting to jettison the over-55s criteria for this particular development, the firm stated in a fresh application to council planners: “There have been enquiries from interested parties seeking to purchase properties for their elderly parents and themselves [who are under the age of 55] so that they were base[d] close to them [and] to enable [their parents] to live as independently as possible for as long as possible – whilst being very close by should they need help maintaining the property…as they get older.

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“This is a request that hasn’t arisen for Arbor Living on previous developments, but given discussions with the planning officer during the previous application process and their openness to omitting the restriction during the original application consideration, it is something which they would now like to implement in this location.

“This opens the homes up to the general market to enable interest such as [that described to] be firmed up, but also [to] allow the homes to be open to the full market at a time when [the] climate in the housing market has shifted due to the current economic [conditions].”

A previous planning permission granted for six bungalows on the site did not have a minimum age limit put in place.

As part of the development, a new staff car park will be created in the grounds of the Kopper Kettle, which currently owns the land on which the bungalows will be built.

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Arbor Living says it has had “lengthy dialogue” with the operators of the outlet in order to ensure that they are “comfortable and happy that their property [and] business will not be negatively impacted by the proposed development”.

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