Churchill Retirement Living appeals decision to refuse 54 retirement flats in Portsmouth

AN APPEAL has been launched over Portsmouth City Council's decision to refuse planning permission for a block of retirement flats in Drayton.

Churchill Retirement Living said it was 'disappointed' by the decision and had also submitted a revised application in a bid to overcome council concerns about its proposals for Havant Road.

'We remain committed to delivering attractive, high quality accommodation for the over-60s in Drayton,' the company said in a statement.

'There is a compelling overall housing need in Drayton and the surrounding area, especially for older people.'

Hampshire Car Sales in Havant Road, Drayton in Portsmouth. Picture: Google

It said the number of over-65s living in the north of the city was forecast to rise by a quarter by 2030 and that its proposals had been based 'on the success' of its nearby Simmonds Lodge development.

The refused planning application proposed the construction of a four-storey building of 54 apartments on the site of the Hampshire Car Sales dealership.

'The proposed building is functional, healthy and sustainable,' a statement submitted with Churchill's plans said. 'It provides an age-friendly environment that helps to address the on-set or increase of mobility problems.

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'The companionship and community spirit developed in retirement housing can help to reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression.'

It added that the scale of the building was 'consistent' with development along that part of Havant Road.

But the scheme drew opposition from people living nearby as well as Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt who said retirement flats were 'harmful' to both their occupants and the wider community.

'Havant Road already has a number of retirement developments of this type clustered in one area and it is my view that poor strategic planning on the part of the local authority has allowed this to happen,' she said.

'It is resulting in a number of poorly designed retirement properties which do no provide the individual purchasing them with a quality of life they should expect in their older age.'

She said these developments were 'not fit for purpose' as they 'exacerbate' issues of isolation and loneliness and 'strain' key services.

The planning application was rejected by the council on Wednesday.

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