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Kirkby Lonsdale retirement home plan ruling
A FOUR-STOREY retirement home will be built in Kirkby Lonsdale after being approved by South Lakeland planners.
The 36-apartment complex will be constructed by McCarthy and Stone on a site off the A65 at Tram Lane, near Booths supermarket.
It will comprise 19 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom flats, communal facilities, a residents’ lounge and 22 car parking spaces.
But the scheme will not provide the minimum 35 per cent affordable housing set out in planning guidelines, so the company will have to pay a ‘commuted sum’ of £502,186 to South Lakes Housing to fund ten socially-rented homes.
While there is no guarantee these will be built in Kirkby Lonsdale, it is hoped they will be sited on land near the town’s Binfold Croft.
Fiona Brookes, McCarthy and Stone regional sales and marketing director, said: “We’re thrilled to be introducing the McCarthy and Stone lifestyle to Kirkby Lonsdale.
“We pride ourselves on offering the ideal place for our purchasers to make the most of their later years in comfort without relinquishing their independence or home ownership.”
Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council and Civic Society opposed the development over its scale and design and the lack of any affordable housing.
But planning officers will use delegated powers to approve the scheme after South Lakeland’s planning committee voted in favour.
Coun Janette Jenkinson said: “I think this will bring benefits to the area and give us residential properties for the area at a time when we are all living longer.”
Coun David Williams said that there was ‘great demand’ for retirement homes in Cumbria and Coun Brian Cooper said: “I think it’s excellent. People who live in these areas will shop in Kirkby Lonsdale and the half a million pounds they (McCarthy and Stone) are going to give to affordable homes is very welcome.”
But Allan Muirhead, Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council chairman, said that he was 'disappointed' at the decision.
“We regret not being able to be present at the meeting to emphasise our objections,” said Coun Muirhead.
“The fact that the developer has offered half a million pounds towards affordable housing in Kirkby Lonsdale carries no guarantee that affordable housing will be provided in the town.
“The planning committee is leaving that job to South Lakes Housing and their officers so the developers will not be involved.
“We are left with a feeling that money has talked in this application.”
McCarthy and Stone added that construction would start next year.