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Retirement flats set to get the go-ahead
PLANS are in the pipeline for a development of 24 retirement flats on land opposite the Blunsdon Arms.
A planning application has not yet been submitted, but public exhibitions have been held and work is expected to begin in the summer, provided the plans are given the go- ahead.
And, since gauging public opinion, developers McCarthy And Stone have already changed the plans to increase the number of parking spaces from eight to 14 following pressure from ward councillors and residents.
The land earmarked for the development is the patch developers tried to build a fast food restaurant on several years ago but were stopped by residents and North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, who was a councillor for the area at the time.
The development, in conjunction with Later Living Retirement Housing, would consist of 24 flats for retirees.
The site currently has planning permission for a 40-bedroom hotel which was granted when the development of the Blunsdon Arms was approved.
In a letter to residents, a McCarthy & Stone spokesman for said they based their decision to increase car parking spaces on feedback from residents.
He said: “It is not in McCarthy & Stone’s interest to under provide car parking provision as it would simply present difficulties in selling the apartments. “There are a number of factors that we take into consideration when assessing the level of car parking provision required.
“This includes the nature of the settlement, the proximity of the site to shops, services and public transport routes.
“And the mix of one and two-bedroom apartments can make some difference. “The presence of a bus route and the opportunity for these residents to use public transport would be one considering factor in the level of car parking provision provided.
“In this case Swindon Council’s parking policies advise a maximum of one space per two units, with a discount factor applied based on the sustainability of the site. “For the proposed 24 units the absolute maximum that planning policy requires us to provide is 12 spaces. However, based on some of the comments we received from the community engagement exercise, we have increased the level of parking provision by 30 per cent and will now be proposing 14 spaces for the proposed 24 units.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said he expects the planning application to be given the thumbs up by local residents.
“Everyone supports the principle of an old people’s home as that is in keeping with the local residential area, in contrast to a KFC or McDonalds,” he said.
“There was concern that there wasn’t sufficient parking for the old people’s home, but myself and ward councillors have secured an extra 30 per cent parking.
“This will be a relief for the residents of Ash Brake who always feared a fast food outlet would try again to secure the site.”