£27m 'village' is approved

SANDFORD will soon be home to a brand new retirement village. Plans for the development on the old station site have been approved and work is expected to start next month

SANDFORD will soon be home to a brand new retirement village.Plans for the development on the old station site have been approved and work is expected to start next month.The £27million project, to be built by the St Monica Trust, will include a 71-bedroom care home, with 18 rooms for people with dementia. It will also provide 108 extra-care flats and cottages, which will incorporate the existing farmhouse, barn and former stationmaster's house already on the site in Sandford Road. The old station and signal buildings will also be refurbished so they can be used as a museum or rest area for walkers using the nearby Strawberry Line. St Monica Trust director, Gerald Lee, said: "We are absolutely delighted to get the go-ahead on this project, which we are confident will deliver a much needed resource for older people in North Somerset."The station is a lovely building and we hope it might provide a facility for local people interested in the history of the railway line."Another existing building to be converted is the engine shed, which will provide a restaurant and a lounge connected to an atrium with a hydrotherapy pool, hair salon and gym. Original plans for the site, which includes the former Sandford Stone premises, were rejected by North Somerset councillors in August due to the buildings encroaching on to greenfield land, but all structures in the new plans are now restricted to brownfield land. This resulted in the size of the care home having to be reduced.Winscombe and Sandford parish councillor Archie Forbes said: "The new plans show the railway buildings will be well preserved. We appreciate that they have come back with another application that has remedied the issues raised from the first."I think this is the best we can do with the site and I am sure it will integrate well into the village."The development, which is expected to welcome its first residents next year, will include 118 car parking spaces, 16 of which will be for the disabled. There will also be disabled access onto the Strawberry Line and to allotments on the site.The retirement village is expected to generate 113 jobs, which the St Monica Trust hopes will be taken up by people living nearby.


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