Extra time is needed for decision on retirement flats
Councillors raise concerns over change of use status and underground car park plans
An application to build the apartments on Oval Way has been made to Chiltern District Council (CDC) by Ortus Homes LT, and was discussed at a planning committee meeting last week (January 4). The proposals consist of redeveloping the site to an age-exclusive one, providing two buildings which contain 10 residential apartments with underground parking, along with the creation of two vehicle accesses and the closure of two existing accesses.
Currently, an empty 13 bedroom care home – which ceased operations in 2013 and is called Stow Lodge – sits on the site along with an occupied bungalow.
However the committee decided the application was not clear on its aims, and have sought extra time to comment.
Councillors concerned over
were whether there should be an application for a change of use as a result of Stow Lodge’s history – care homes and residential homes require different planning applications.
The parish council comments read: “Chalfont St Peter Parish Council will be seeking extra time to comment on this application to clarify whether this development has care home status and whether there is change of use. Also is there underground parking as this is mentioned in the description but does not appear to be shown.”
It follows a previous application for the area which was dismissed in an appeal decision in June 2015.
There was general agreement, however, that the latest application was much improved from the last and that comments had been taken on board, although the parking situation was blasted by committee chairman Hazel North as ‘woefully inadequate’.
She added: “I’d like to welcome it but I’d also like for it to be completely clear. I think the key point is that there is clarity.”
Tony Shinner said: “We will support this subject to our caveats and whether there is sufficient parking space.”
District councillor John Wertheim, who represents the Austenwood Ward, has called it in for approval.
Ali Maruf, regional managing director for Ortus Home’s north London region, said: “We recognise that getting older can present challenges. That is why our proposals for Oval Way have been carefully designed to meet the current and future needs of our residents. Like each of our schemes, it will be constructed to Lifetime Homes Standards and will be a fully managed site. This ensures the apartments will be fully adaptable and flexible to support our residents’ continued independence.”
He continued: “We are committed to working closely with Chalfont St Peter Parish Council throughout the planning process, and after considering its feedback, we are reviewing the number of proposed on site car parking spaces in an effort to increase the parking provision. This is to ensure the site provides an appropriate number of spaces for residents, guests and staff.”
Oval Way where developers hope to build retirement flats