Fri, 19 Jan 2018
THATCHAM residents will be able to view the first draft proposals for town centre retirement apartments at an exhibition next week.
Developer McCarthy & Stone is looking to build the apartments on the site of Tigers Too Day Nursery on Station Road.
Approximately 33 apartments and 52 extra care apartments are planned for the site, which also encompasses 2a and 2b Station Road and the vacant Alexandra Court and Regent House.
The plans are at a preliminary stage and a planning application is yet to be submitted, but residents have the chance to look at the draft proposals.
Regional managing director at McCarthy & Stone Shane Paull said: “We want to hear from the local community and our future homeowners before we finalise our planning application.
“We will be displaying our plans at a public exhibition where our project team will be on hand to answer questions and listen to feedback on what we have done so far.”
Nursery owner Alison Huntley said that parents had been notified of the scheme and that they would be kept informed.
She said: “We had to make a difficult decision on what we were going to do.
“We didn’t want to run a nursery in the middle of a building site for two years.
“We have gone along with it. If they get planning... then we will relocate all our staff and children to other sites.
“If they don’t, then we will stay where we are.
“We had to think about the safety of children, but they were going
to do it with or without us anyway.
“No one will lose their job and there will be places at other sites.
“We have got three sites in good locations – if we wanted to relocate we have a good choice to choose from.”
The developer said that more than 2,000 local homes and businesses have been invited along to attend the exhibition, which follows various meetings with council officers, elected representatives and immediate neighbours of the site.
McCarthy & Stone said that redeveloping the site offered “an important opportunity to provide much-needed specialist retirement accommodation”, increasing the housing choice for local older people.
Indeed, the Office of National Statistics has predicted that the local over-65s population will rise by 62 per cent over the next 20 years.
The developer added that redeveloping the site would also contribute to West Berkshire Council’s identified housing need, and meets aspirations for brownfield development to deliver future growth in Thatcham.
Mr Paull said: “Our plans provide an important opportunity to deliver a sensitive residential development in an attractive location, and we have sought to respect the characteristics of the local area when developing our design and landscaping proposals.
“This scheme would significantly improve the housing choices for older people in Thatcham, while also providing a boost for local businesses through increased year-round spending in the area.”
The developer said that independent academic research shows that almost 80 per cent of McCarthy and Stone homeowners shopped locally at least once a week, translating to £670,000 of spending in the local economy annually.
The exhibition will be held between 3pm and 7pm at the Moorside Centre in Urquhart Road, Thatcham on Tuesday, January 23.
Residents can find out more by calling McCarthy & Stone on 0800 298 7040 or visit www.mccarthyandstoneconsultation.co.uk/thatcham