Car park could become flats

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 12:11pm

By Christian Barnett - Local Democracy Reporter

A town centre shop and cark park looks set to be demolished to make way for more than 50 retirement flats and homes for the over 60s.

The new proposals would see Evesham’s former Just for Pets store demolished with some of the existing High Street shops – including Poundstretcher which has recently moved into the former Co-op supermarket earlier this year – ‘remodelled’ to make way for three new shop units.

The town centre’s Swan Lane car park would also be flattened to make way for up to 49 ‘retirement living’ flats and seven two-bed ‘cottages’ for the over 60s.

The joint plants by Churchill Retirement Living – which is building the housing – and developers Eros – who are in charge of the new units – would also include a new 20-space car park.

The first and second floor offices in the buildings will remain unaffected.

A statement included with Churchill Living’s application said: “It is evident that there is critical need for the delivery of older people housing in the district and a significant pressing need within the administrative boundary of the council.

“The planning application proposal will contribute towards delivering these much-needed homes, including older people housing.

“That contribution can be considered as a significant benefit which weighs strongly in favour of this planning application.”

In a separate application, Eros said: “The scheme will retain active commercial frontages along the High Street and seeks to avoid long-term vacancy of units and ensure that the site contributes to contribute to the vitality and viability of Evesham town centre.

“Through the materials proposed, the changes would be sympathetic to the function and existing character and appearance of the built form and would not result in features which would detract, dominate or draw attention from the surrounding townscape than that which the existing built form already does.”

Rooftop Housing has already had its plan to build 27 flats next to the car park approved by councillors in 2020.

The plan by the housing association to build the flats on the corner of Swan Lane and Rynal Street has already started and the two-and-three-storey buildings to house the mix of one-and-two-bed flats has replaced a number of empty buildings which have been vacant for several years.

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