Oxford County Councillor for Public Health attended the Planning Committee and spoke in support of the plans
McCarthy & Stone was submitting proposals for an Extra Care retirement village, including apartments, cottages and bungalows, rejuvenating a long-standing, vacant brownfield factory site. The land was allocated by the District Council for future employment uses so McCarthy & Stone needed to justify the principle of a non-employment use, while promoting the regeneration benefits.
Pre-application research highlighted that the Neighbourhood Plan identified a local need for additional homes for older people. However, early research also identified that there was a strong resistance locally due to perceived pressures on local services, particularly the local NHS Health Trust and a strong local desire to see more homes provided for young people.
To ensure that the positive benefits of Extra Care proposals were promoted, with an emphasis on how the proposed Extra Care accommodation differed from existing retirement homes in the area, extensive consultation was undertaken with the community.
Amendments to the design were made as a direct result of Town Council feedback. Local support received for the plans ultimately outweighed objections received. Furthermore, the Oxford County Councillor for Public Health attended the Planning Committee and spoke in support of the plans and the need for additional Extra Care housing in the area, which would actually help to alleviate pressure on local health services. The application was approved at Planning Committee.