A retirement village in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire has achieved planning consent following a recent planning appeal. 

Axis Land Partnerships, working on behalf of a local landowner, achieved planning consent for a unique development to be built – more than 75 per cent of which is a 50-acre countryside park. 

The park will transfer ownership to the Magog Trust to reintroduce rare chalk grassland to the area, along with funding to set up and maintain it as an outdoor and natural location to be enjoyed by residents, local people as well as visitors.

The planning inspector concluded that very special circumstances existed to justify the development.  These included the substantial need for housing with care in the area, the release of existing housing stock arising from local people moving to the development and the 234 per cent biodiversity net gain and help to achieve the long-outstanding biodiversity enhancement objectives of the Council.  

Phil Grant, director at Axis Land Partnerships said “We know that the ageing population is increasing.  This will be most felt in rural districts like South Cambridgeshire, where Stapleford is located. A retirement village like this one helps meet this need by providing specialist housing which aims to deliver a life-enhancing impact for those that live there as well as benefits for the wider community. 

An extensive public consultation was carried out in 2018-2020 on a variety of points relating to the development.  It became clear that people didn’t understand the true impact of an ageing population on a local area especially in rural areas and the knock-on effect this has on the local housing stock coming to the market as well.  So, it’s good to have finally achieved a successful outcome in the end for our landowners and that this much-needed development can be built.”

The development will offer a range of housing with care for sale, including apartments and bungalows, with care and support available to suit people’s individual and changing needs over time. 

There would also be facilities that can be open for the wider community to benefit from such as wellness facilities, swimming pool and accessible open space – in this case in the form of the new 50-acre countryside park.

The new park will provide a focal point for the local and wider villages for young and old to come together, play and relax.

Andrew Adams, land director at Axis Land Partnerships said “It’s important that people get to stay in their local area but in an environment that they are comfortable in and that’s exactly what this development enables.  If we are going to build the homes, we need in this country the right development in the greenbelt is necessary as long as it is done sensitively, like this example at Stapleford. We are pleased that we won a clear case that this is the right development in the right location.”

Axis Land Partnerships will now work with retirement village operators to select the best partner to construct and operate the development.

Image source: Axis Land Partnerships

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