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Approval given to new retirement flats in Penwortham

Artist's impression of the site.
Artist's impression of the site.

A three-storey retirement block is set to be built on the site of a Penwortham church hall after councillors unanimously approved plans.

South Ribble’s planning committee last night (Wednesday, March 7) voted in favour of the application at St Mary’s Church Hall in Cop Lane to build 51 retirement flats, along with communal facilities, additional landscaping and car parking.

Committee members praised the plans for helping to combat the residential needs of the borough’s ageing population.

Coun Renee Blow said: “I’m pleased its for the elderly. In South Ribble now we don’t have enough for them to live in peace and tranquillity.”

Coun Barrie Yates added: “It’s a development much needed in South Ribble.”

Coun Jim Marsh said: “The church hall has become a dusty old hut and I think it’s wonderful what they’re going to do with it.”

The apartments will be 30 one-bedroom, self-contained flats as well as a further 21 two-bedroom units.

The building will be three storeys with the third being a dormer roof to reduce the overall height.

Ed Harvey,speaking on behalf of applicants McCarthy & Stone, said: “It will enable residents to live independently in a safe and secure environment.”

During questions, Coun Linda Woollard raised concerns over the number of car parking spaces being provided, but planning officers noted that the 35 dedicated spaces are more than the minimum required amount for the build.

And because the build is for retirees it is classed as ‘special needs’, leaving no need for a proportion of affordable housing under Local Plan guidelines.

Even with this being the case, developers have agreed a £50,000 payment upon occupation of the first apartment for the provision of off-site affordable builds.