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Legal battle victory for Churchill Retirement Living given green light for 65 apartments

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Written by: | Posted 07 November 2016 18:14

Legal battle victory for Churchill Retirement Living given green light for 65 apartments

New retirement apartments will be built in Cheltenham after a long legal battle was won by developers.

Churchill Retirement Living has won a planning appeal to build 65 retirement living apartments at a site in St Margaret’s Road.

Initial plans were refused by Cheltenham Borough Council in October 2015. However, following a long and expensive appeal process, a Government Planning Inspector concluded that the design of the proposed building would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area, and preserve the settings of the listed buildings nearby.

The company said the new homes will help address the urgent and recognised need for more suitable housing for older people in Cheltenham.

Allowing older people to downsize will also help free up more suitable housing supply for families in the local area.

Andrew Burgess, Planning Director of Churchill Retirement Living, said: “Although it took far longer than we had hoped to arrive at this point, I am delighted to achieve this very positive outcome.

“The Planning Inspector’s decision accepted all of our arguments and Cheltenham Borough Council should reflect on how they handled this planning application, causing a long and costly delay in bringing forward the development of urgently needed new homes for older people in Cheltenham.”

Owners have the benefits of a Lodge Manager, 24 hour Careline, Owners’ Lounge and guest suite.

The company also maintains that the retirement apartments benefits the ‘basket shopping economy’ as its central location encourages residents to shop locally.

Lisa Sumner, Associate Director at Williams Lester Chartered Architects, added: “We are pleased to see the Planning Inspector agree with us that the proposed development will fit in well with its context, and will help to mend this fractured edge of Cheltenham town centre.  We worked hard to design a building that would enhance the character of this part of the town which has been eroded by highway improvements. Our design was based upon a detailed analysis of the site and its surroundings, acknowledging the pattern of development, rhythms, hierarchy and style of the town.

"We proposed a modern interpretation of classic Georgian and Regency terrace architecture that complements the historic townscape rather than competing or diminishing it.”

The plans for the new development will follow the same pattern of all Churchill Lodges, providing high quality, self-contained homes in landscaped grounds, designed for the over 60s.

Tracey Crews, director of planning at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “The council considers carefully the merits of all applications and in doing so takes account of issues raised by consultees and members of the public alongside the planning officers’ consideration of the scheme. 

"In regards to the design issues and the impact on the conservation area and adjacent listed building, concerns were raised from Architects Panel together with the councils heritage and environmental health officers.  

"It is disappointing that the planning inspector did not share the concerns which resulted in the refusal of the scheme by Cheltenham Borough Council. The council remains of the view that the principle of development in this location is sound, but that the scheme could have been improved in terms of both design and impact on neighbouring development."



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