July 6, 2022 5.30 pm

Navenby retirement village for over 55s refused permission

The visual impact would have been “unacceptable”

By Local Democracy Reporter

North Kesteven councillors have been forced to turn down plans for retirement village.

Plans had been submitted for 47 bungalows for over 55s in Navenby, which the developer claims would have been ideal for older people who needed care.

However, the council says that the latest designs would have had an “unacceptable visual impact” on the village and were outside the development boundaries.

The site off Grantham Road had previously been allocated for a care home due to exceptional demand for the services.

North Kesteven District Council officers said there was no guarantee that the proposed bungalows would meet that same need.

The plans were refused by the council | Photo: NDC Group

Councillor Richard Wright said: “The aim is very laudable. However, as an over 55, I would be eligible for this and I don’t fit the profile at all.

“Every bungalow could be bought by someone with 30 years of life left who will never need care, and will therefore never provide care. It isn’t a care facility, it’s private accommodation, even if it’s attempting to be a retirement village.

“As much as I would like to see facilities for all people who need care built on greater scale, unfortunately this is in the wrong place and doesn’t meet that need – not if you have 47 of me turn up to buy them.”

The plans by the NDC Group would include a community hub and a warden’s hut.

The planning committee meeting were told that small projects can be justified outside of development boundaries only in exceptional circumstances, which this didn’t meet.

The village would have included 47 bungalows, many of them wheelchair-accessible | Photo: NDC Group

Councillor Ian Carrington said: “I have sympathy with the need for a balanced supply of housing, but I have to take the decision based on the policies we have.”

The applicant’s agent John Halton told councillors that a retirement village where most properties had wheelchair access was “only possible on an exceptional site.”

He said: “Developers can’t afford to use land on ground-hungry single-storey schemes such as these because they aren’t viable. We need to ensure that the elderly and disabled have a range of housing options.”

A report into the project had previously warned: “The proposals are considered to have an unacceptable visual impact in terms of the historic setting of the settlements of Navenby and Wellingore” which “isn’t outweighed by the public benefits fo the scheme.”

Council officers also warned that allowing the development would set a precedent for larger developments in unsuitable village sites.