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Retirement homes to be built on prime site in Tiverton
9:10am Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
DOZENS of retirement flats will be built on a prime site in the heart of Tiverton which has stood unused for more than 30 years.
Mid Devon District Council approved developer McCarthy & Stone’s plans to build 45 flats on derelict land overlooking the River Exe last week.
The council bought the one-acre site at the rear of the town hall in the late 1970s intending to extend the town hall offices, but since the plans fell through the council has struggled to find developers interested in the land, which has ten dilapidated properties along St Andrews Street.
The council will retain ownership of eight of the houses, which will be refurbished, but numbers 1 and 2 will be demolished to allow access to the McCarthy & Stone development.
The project will see the council pocket about £300,000 over the next six years under the Government’s New Homes Bonus, which is based on the amount of extra council tax revenue raised from new properties.
Head of housing at Mid Devon District Council Nick Sanderson said: “There have been many different thoughts on usages for the land, such as a theatre, but no-one was coming forward to help run these kinds of projects and we have to be careful not to leave a millstone round people’s necks for the future.
“Whatever we do has to be commercially viable and this seemed to tick all the boxes.”
He said work to bring the council-owned properties up to standard should begin by January next year.
A McCarthy & Stone spokesman said: “We’re pleased that local councillors supported the planning officer’s recommendation to approve its comprehensive application to transform a redundant site in the heart of Tiverton with much-needed retirement housing for people in later life.
“While it’s early days, it’s likely we’ll be looking to start on site at some point next year.”
More than 20% of Mid Devon’s population is aged over 65 and the figure is set to rise to 30% in the next 20 years, according to the 2011 census.
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