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Canal-side retirement flats get the go-ahead for Skipton
Retirement home specialists have been given the go-ahead to build a five-storey block of 33 flats next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Skipton.
An agent for McCarthy and Stone told Monday’s planning committee meeting of Craven District Council that the company had wanted to build in Skipton for several years.
Chris Butt, from the Planning Bureau, said the site – part of Belle Vue Mills – was ideally located close to the railway and bus stations and to shops. He said the typical occupier of their properties were people in their late 60s and early 70s who were looking to downsize.
Principal planning officer Mark Moore said efforts had been made to make the five- storey building resemble a warehouse building, as had been on the site originally.
The site, which was cleared in 2007, already has planning permission for the building of 14 town houses.
The “later living” development would include 21 one- bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units. The development would include communal areas, including a roof terrace, a mobility scooter park and 15 car parking spaces for residents, and a further four for staff and visitors.
Mr Moore said the number of car parking spaces was deemed satisfactory because of the expected residents of the flats, and also compared favourably with the number provided at the Lower Greenfoot older persons’ development at Settle.
Access to the flats would be by Brewery Lane, with additional pedestrian access off the canal towpath.
Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind) said the development would at least double the amount of traffic using the canal bridge onto Brewery Lane.
And Coun Ken Hart (Ind) said it was wrong to assume those more than 65 years old were less inclined to drive.
“Since I retired I have used my car more than I did before. To suggest we don’t have cars is bunkum,” he said.
Coun Hart added that he did not agree with the “no objection” comments of North Yorkshire Highways department, which he described as as useful as “chocolate fireguards”.
Coun Alan Sutcliffe (Cons) said he would have preferred to see the 14 town houses rather than the retirement homes which he described as resembling a “land-based cruise ship”.
The committee approved planning permission, subject to further discussions over a sum payable by the developer in lieu of affordable housing normally required as part of residential developments.