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Over 55s complex gets the go-ahead after 18-month battle

How the over 55s complex is likely to look from Banbury Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.
How the over 55s complex is likely to look from Banbury Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.

WORK on a complex of apartments for over 55s at the top end of Banbury Road in Stratford-upon-Avon will begin early next year after an 18-month planning battle.

A planning inspector has overruled Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s decision to reject plans for 21 apartments on the site of 221 Banbury Road, the last house before open countryside.

When the plans were unveiled in February last year, McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd, said it had an agreement to buy the plot where the former home of footballer Dion Dublin currently stands, subject to planning permission.

It also claimed there was support locally. However, Stratford Town Council were among the objectors when a planning application was submitted some weeks later.

And in May the district council refused the planning application, citing overdevelopment and an adverse impact on the landscape character.

The council also ruled there would be an overbearing impact on neighbours, mainly the loss of sunlight, and the new residents would place pressure on local facilities and services.

But government-appointed planning inspector, Anthony Lyman, who oversaw a two-day appeal hearing in August rejected those reasons.

In his ruling earlier this month, Mr Lyman said the scale and mass of the apartment block would be substantial, but the impact on the neighbouring property would not be significant, adding: “I conclude that the benefits of the proposed development would considerably outweigh the limited landscape and visual impacts arising from the proposal.”

Tim Lightfoot, construction director at Ortus Homes West Midlands, a division of McCarthy and Stone, told the Herald: “We are delighted to have received planning permission, and hope to commence construction in spring 2017 with properties available to purchase in early 2018.”

According to Rightmove, the house currently on the site has five bedrooms, was built in 1927 and occupies a large plot of land. It was on the market for £1.15million.

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