Seaton retirement homes plan condemned

The Harbour Road site at Seaton once earmarked for a 100-bed hotel is now set to become  retirement flats The Harbour Road site at Seaton once earmarked for a 100-bed hotel is now set to become retirement flats

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
8:14 AM

Councillor says the resort desperately needs more tourist accomodation like the 100-bed hotel originally planned for the seafront site

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The latest phase in Seaton’s mullti-million pound seafront regeneration scheme will be unveiled to the public next week.

Plans for 43 retirement flats, off Harbour Road, will go on show at the town’s primary school.

But the project – which replaces the originally planned 100 bedroom hotel on the site - has already been condemned by one town councillor.

Steve Williams says desperately needed holiday accommodation – not more homes for elderly people - is what the resort needs most.

Developers McCarthy and Stone will unveil their designs for the retirement apartments, on the brownfield site, near Tesco, at a public exhibition on Thursday, May 29, between 3.30pm and 7pm at Seaton Primary School on Valley View.

They point out that while, in 2013, East Devon District Council gave consent to another developer to build a 100 -bed hotel on the site, the application has not been progressed due to lack of interest.

Spokesman Shane Paull said: “McCarthy and Stone has now acquired an interest in the site and is proposing to sensitively redevelop it with 43 one and two bed retirement living apartments with approximately 43 car parking spaces.

“We have spent time carefully researching the architecture and character of the local area to ensure our proposals are a sensitive fit to Seaton, especially in comparison to the consented hotel scheme. The plans would also introduce a specialist form of housing which will help meet an identified, and growing, need in the area.

“We want to hear from the local community before we submit a planning application and will be displaying our plans at the exhibition. Our project team will be at the exhibition to answer questions and listen to feedback and the comments we receive will help us tailor our proposals.”

But Cllr Williams told The Herald he had great concerns about the project.

He said: “I may not be speaking for the town council but although I understand that Seaton, like any other seaside town, attracts the elderly who have retired, I believe it requires holiday accommodation more that retirement homes.

“The town is desperate for such accommodation since the closure of the Lyme bay holiday village. There has to be a balance between the two if Seaton is to prosper. Unfortunately the balance seems to be tipping towards Seaton becoming more of a retirement home than a tourist destination.

“So far this site has not given us the promised affordable homes or a hotel, just homes which the low paid in Seaton cannot afford, a large supermarket which the town cannot support and a proposed retirement home. Some may say Seaton got the mucky end of the stick and the speculators are laughing all the way to the bank.”

* To find out more about the retirement flats scheme call McCarthy and Stone’s dedicated freephone information line on 0800 298 7040 or visit their website at www.mccarthyandstone-consultation.co.uk/seaton

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