The application was submitted by Lovell Later Living whose development agent, Theresa Snaith, spoke at the meeting, describing the homes as “challenging the status quo of style, choice, and affordability traditionally seen in the UK for older persons’ housing.”
The 84 residential units, restricted to residents of an age of 55 and above, will be located on an open and currently undeveloped field at Middle Deepdale, Northwold Road, Eastfield.
Scarborough Council’s Planning and Development Committee approved the large-scale project at its meeting on Thursday July 7.
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Ms Snaith added that Lovell Later Living planned to build “many more of these types of homes in Scarborough over the coming years”.
The development is largely “superseding a previous, as yet unimplemented, reserved matters approval for a retirement village, which like the current proposals, is also restricted to residents of an age of 55+”, according to the council.
The plans are for seven different dwelling designs, most of which will be bungalows with front gardens and 64 of the 84 dwellings will be semi-detached, while the remaining 20 will be detached.
Cllr Roberta Swiers expressed her support for the development, stating that it was “much needed” and was “the best thing that could be here”.
“It will accommodate so many people, I think it’s an excellent idea for people of that age group. It is finishing off this area completely, but it is complementing everything so that people can live there right through their lives.”
Presenting a report to members of the committee, a council officer said the authority had sought various amendments to the proposal in the course of the planning process because the original plans “did not fully comply with [the council’s] design guidance in certain respects.”
However, Cllr Bill Chat asked how the developer would maintain the policy of limiting availability to those over the age of 55.
He said: “I’m not being funny but age is just a number now. You could have somebody who is 55 but has a much younger wife or a much younger husband moving into that accommodation which would then facilitate the possibility of having children there.
“It needs to have the facilities to cover for children.”
Cllr Chat added: “I look at some of our actors and I think to myself, David Jason was a father at 78. So it still is possible. Where are the facilities?”
The council officer said that enforcement of the age policy would likely be a joint effort between Scarborough Council and the developer, but he did not have a clear answer to the question regarding facilities.
He added that “at the end of the day, there are some limitations to how much that can be enforced.”
While other councillors said they recognised Cllr Chatt’s concerns, they welcomed the development as much needed and said it would free up larger properties within the borough.
The planning application was approved by the committee with only Cllr Chatt casting a vote against the development.