WORK to build a new care village for older people in Bromsgrove can now begin.
The proposals, for the land off Recreation Road, will see three new buildings replace the six currently on the site with 173 new homes for people over 60.
Bromsgrove District Council’s Planning Committee approved a full application put forward by Aspen Retirement Limited on Monday (January 2).
The site, which takes up the entire plot between Market Street and Churchfields is on the northern side of Recreation Road.
To make way for the new development, the town’s Drill Hall, the former restaurant and electrical wholesaler, the old clinic site, the adult training centre, the scout hall as well as parking areas including the Recreation Road North car park will all be bulldozed.
The idea of the development is to enable older people to continue to live independently for as long as possible.
One of the buildings will be made up of 22 one-bedroom and 44 two-bedroom extra care apartments and will have a private garden courtyard along with a number of other garden areas.
A building constructed on the eastern side of the site, on the corner of Market Street and Recreation Road, will be used as a care home.
The 81-bedroom home will be divided into four nursing groups, with each one having its own resident lounges, dining rooms and ancillary accommodation.
There will also be other communal facilities such as activity rooms, a small cinema, an entrance hall cafe and commercial kitchen, laundry, a small car park and a private garden.
The third block will be made up of affordable housing and will have 14 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom homes for people over 60 – it will also have a small communal lounge.
The developers have agreed to make £85,849.92 in contributions to improve Kidderminster Road, St Johns Street, Market Street, Market Place and Hanover Place as well as the bus timetable information at Bromsgrove Bus Station.
And, £4,000 will also be put towards parking management in Churchfields along with a further £160,150 towards improving accessibility of the Rec.
Coun Rita Dent said she was delighted with the committee’s decision.
She added: “It was another welcome piece in the jigsaw towards the town centre regeneration.
“I’m certain it will enhance the lives of everyone who will ultimately live there.”
Coun Luke Mallett said it was welcome news for the town as it had long been clear there was a growing shortage of homes designed for older residents, particularly affordable ones.
He added it was, however, sad to see the old Drill Hall go.
“I’d urge the council to involve local residents and town centre traders in shaping the changes to the recreation ground and local transport.” he said.