Positive support for sheltered apartment plans at bus depot in Lymington town centre

Over 100 people - including members of the Lymington town council and New Forest District Council - turned up to view Renaissance Retirement's exciting plans to re-develop the existing bus depot site on the high street in Lymington, which the present operator The Go Ahead Group has identified as being surplus to its operational requirements.

Renaissance Retirement conducted its public consultation for local people to showcase its plans for much needed high quality retirement living accommodation.

The public exhibition, held at Lymington Community Centre, provided useful dialogue and feedback which the company is now looking to accommodate into its plans.

Renaissance Retirement has devised a 'Lymington' style mews cottage design for the site reflecting the historic burgage plot pattern of development whilst offering 20 apartments and 20 parking spaces.

Peter Tanner, Planning Director at Renaissance Retirement, said: "We have been encouraged by the positive feed-back received from visitors to the exhibition together with the high level of interest from local elderly people wishing to fulfill their aspirations of town centre living. The few comments of concern raised by a small number of visitors to the exhibition have been noted and will be considered in a review of the sketch scheme proposals.

"We believe our scheme will have significant benefit for older people wishing to live within the heart of the town centre. We have already received a large number of enquiries from elderly households wishing to live within the town centre. The majority of those enquiries are from people with a SO41 postcode looking to downsize to a location where they can walk to the shops and enjoy the facilities this town centre has to offer."

Nick Watkins, Development Director at Renaissance Retirement, added: "The Office of National Statistics has identified that in the New Forest the proportion of people over the age of 65 (already at 28%) will increase to 36% of the population within the next two decades.

"This is significantly higher than the projected growth in the national proportion of elderly persons. The projections indicate that the existing population of 50,900 people over the age of 65 currently living in the New Forest will have increased to 74,000 by the year 2037.

"It's imperative that we plan to deliver a range and choice of quality homes to provide for the projected increase in the local elderly populations which are designed to provide for their housing needs in their old age."

Nick added: "Renaissance designs housing to meet the needs of senior people so that they can remain in their own homes as their needs and degree of frailty change. It is for this reason that a central location with ease of access to town centre shops, facilities and a range of public transport is especially important.

Renaissance Retirement will be looking to submit its planning application towards the end of March. If successful, the company would look to start building before the year end.

Research estimates over £400 billion of housing wealth is tied up in properties where owners desperately wish to scale down.

Renaissance's proposed retirement development in Lymington offers an ideal opportunity for those people approaching their later years who aspire to downsize.

Peter added: "It is well documented that the majority of older people seeking to move into retirement housing move from within a four mile radius. Another significant benefit of specialist housing is that older people 'downsizing' from under-occupied homes release those family houses onto the local housing market, thus benefiting local housing supply."

Renaissance's heritage dates back to the first retirement apartments at HRH Prince of Wales' flagship Poundbury development in Dorchester. The apartments, if planning permission is approved by the council, would provide living spaces ideally suited for downsizers looking to maintain a quality standard of independent living.

To register your interest, please visit the Lymington page under the tab 'Developments' on our website.