Plans to build 'assisted living' flats on former Webbs Garden Centre, Kendal, site get mixed reaction

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

DEVELOPERS were met with a mixed reaction to plans to turn a former Kendal garden centre site into assisted living accommodation.

McCarthy and Stone unveiled proposals for a complex of 60 one and two-bedroom apartments where Webb’s Garden Centre once stood at Burneside Road.

All the properties will be sale only with on-site care and support provided 24 hours a day.

The plans, designed to meet the needs of elderly people requiring greater levels of care, were showcased at a public exhibition at the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre in Kendal.

Among those attending was Burneside Road’s Dorothy Morgan, who said: “I’m quite impressed that they’re going to do something about the land – it’s an eyesore, so this is a good idea.”

But Brenda Tiller, who also lives close by, was less positive. “I think it’s awful,” she said. “They’re near the river so if you’re living there you will get bitten to death in summer. I imagine the rooms will be small and the road is too narrow for increased traffic.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I would like to see a mixed development where there’s somewhere for poor people to go, not just upmarket apartments for the well-off.”

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George Martin, deputy design director for McCarthy and Stone, said it was important for people to have their say.

“We have held one-to-ones with neighbours to take on board their comments and this display is for the wider community. We will try to address concerns that people have.”

McCarthy and Stone has promised ‘high-quality units’ in its scheme.

A spokesman said: “These units will allow people in later life to retain independence, close to their family and friends, in accommodation suited for their needs, in a safe and enjoyable environment.”

Steve Secker, of McCarthy and Stone, said: “We need to ensure what we build is what our customers, as well as the community, would like to see.”

The former Webb’s Garden Centre was partly redeveloped with 16 properties in 2007 before the developer went into administration.

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