THE LONG-RUNNING saga over the future of Pershore’s former Cottage Hospital looks set to drag on after planning chiefs delayed a decision.
Amid claims the retirement complex proposal would cause a ‘farcical’ parking situation, Wychavon District Council planning chiefs voted to delay any decision until February at the meeting last Thursday (December 10).
Churchill Retirement Living want to build 24 apartments on the former hospital site but 53 town residents signed a petition calling on planning chiefs to reject the application.
Concerned residents feel the development will pile the pressure on parking on Defford Road and Nogains, as well as the impact on parking for staff at Abbottswood Medical Centre.
Coun Charles Tucker, who represents Pershore on Wychavon District Council, said: “Churchill’s claim that they only need 11 car spaces is ridiculous. This development will attract active retired people, who will want to continue using their cars.
“Unless more onsite car park spaces are provided they will have to park in local residential streets like Nogains, which is already under pressure from traffic and parking associated with the Abbotswood surgery extensions.
“I hope that Churchill’s will move the building back, reduce the number of apartments and increase the car park spaces. 18 apartments and 18 car spaces would be much more acceptable.”
Lady Harford, spoke out against the application at the planning meeting, urged the councillors to reject the application.
“As for the provision for parking, what is proposed would be farcical if it were not so serious,” she said.
“You recently saw fit to grant permission for expansion of Abbotswood Medical Centre without adequate provision for parking there.
“The situation will be ten times worse if Churchill build as they propose; every letter you’ve received stresses this problem.
“Absolutely no provision has been made for deliveries, for carers for the very elderly, for staff, are they expected to carry boxes and bags from neighbouring streets or are they going to park on double yellow lines.”
Chris Gerris, Planning Consultant to Churchill Retirement Living, said: “The proposal provides 11 car parking spaces which equates to almost one space for every two units.
“In this regard it should be noted the average age of someone moving into one of these schemes is 79, having taken the decision to go and give up the burden of maintaining their home, garden and car.
“Your highways officers have advised this is an acceptable level of provision which would not result in parking over spilling into near by streets,” he added.