Big retirement homes plan for town car park

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A big retirement homes complex is being proposed for a site close to Market Harborough town centre, currently a car park.

The retirement complex would be on a large vacant plot on Clarence Street, off St Mary’s Road and within walking distance of the railway station.

The land is currently being used as a car park, but was formerly a depot for builders’ merchants Travis Perkins.

Clarence Street residents spoken to by the Mail this week are broadly in favour of the scheme, though some have misgivings about its height in particular, saying it could cause privacy and loss of sunlight issues.

The new development would be between two and four storeys high.

The Churchill scheme would provide around 49 one and two bedroom apartments for the over 60s.

Apartment owners would have a lodge manager, 24 hour careline, owners’ lounge and guest Suite, all in landscaped grounds.

Andrew Burgess, planning director of Churchill Retirement Living, said: “There is a real need for private retirement housing in Market Harborough.

“Our proposed development will go some way to increasing access to this type of housing for local residents.”

He said the new apartments should free up under-occupied larger homes in the area, as older people downsized.

“And as well as meeting the need for high-quality retirement apartments, the development will bring benefits to the local economy.

“Owners will be within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and other amenities.”

Robert Harris, who would live opposite the apartments, said: “As a general scheme I really like it, but I do have a few misgivings.

“They’re suggesting a four-storey structure right in front of my place, which could mean people being able to look straight into our front bedrooms.”

He said he was also concerned about living in a permanent shadow cast by the new apartments, and about car headlights from the scheme’s car park shining into homes across the road.

Another Clarence Street resident, Arthur Thompson, said: “I think this scheme is pretty good. Old people aren’t going to cause any trouble!”

And Angela Longster said: “Yes, we got a letter about this the other day. I don’t mind this plan. Four storeys might be OK if they were far enough back from the street.”

The plans have yet to be submitted to Harborough District Council.

But the public can see them now through Churchill’s consultation link: https://www.churchillretirement.co.uk/planning/live-consultations/

The link can be accessed until Tuesday, April 11.