Pub plans for retirement homes but residents want affordable housing

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 January 2011

Views of Congresbury

Views of Congresbury

Copyright Archant Ltd

MAJOR plans to transform a derelict pub in Congresbury into retirement homes have been submitted to North Somerset Council – even though villagers would prefer more affordable housing.

Westbury-on-Trym based applicant, Land and Buildings Ltd, has submitted a blueprint for ‘age restricted’ two and three bedroom houses at the site of the former Bell Inn in Kent Road.

Half of the vacant land, also owned by Land and Buildings Ltd, already has planning permission for a shop but details of what exactly will go there has not been decided.

Pre-application details were given to Congresbury Parish Council last year but it felt the original submission was too dense, there was not enough parking, and retirement housing was not needed.

Parish council chairman, Pete Sewell, said: “Our worry is that the village needs affordable housing for the younger people as we want to keep younger families and young professionals in the village.

“We don’t think the age-restricted properties are necessarily needed in that location.”

The buildings along the Kent Road side would be two storeys high and those along Bristol Road would be one and a half storeys high.

The homes will use 15-20 per cent of energy from onsite solar energy panels and there will be 26 car parking spaces.

A report from the Bristol-based architect, Clear Future, said: “The proposal is to create a quality, residential development that is a positive addition to Congresbury, bringing age-restricted housing opportunities, with local character and identity.

“Taking the site as a whole and the proposed retail use on the adjacent site will create a mixed use development that enables diversity and economic viability.”

North Somerset councillor and Congresbury ward representative, Tom Leimdorfer, said it is likely that buyers will have to be aged over 65. He said: “This is the first application for the site and we will listen carefully to the concerns of local people.

“The proposed convenience store still concerns me as a potential threat to the business in the precinct.”

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