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Anger over Minehead retirement homes plan
BUSINESSES and living standards will suffer as a result of a retirement development in Minehead, campaigners claim.
West Somerset Council planning committee voted to approve planning permission for 25 apartments to be built in The Parks, subject to a section 106 agreement being resolved, at a meeting on Thursday (October 25).
The application to demolish Beechfield House, which was built in 1920, and replace it with the new building and 19-space car park has sparked controversy in the area.
More than 120 letters of objection have been written to the council and 86 signatures gathered on a petition against it.
Some 20 people have written in support of the proposals.
Several members of the public spoke at the emotionally-charged two hour planning meeting, voicing concerns about road safety, overdevelopment, flood risk, increased noise and the loss of part of Minehead’s heritage.
The fact that the council has allowed developers McCarthy and Stone to pay £208,000 less section 106 money to mitigate the impact of the build was also criticised by both the public and members.
Bryan Leaker, owner of the Parks Guest House which faces the site, said: “I am exceedingly disappointed about the decision.
“I will have a building site opposite my hotel for two years.
“My hotel has been praised for its high standards of cleanliness and customer service but how am I going to get around the dust and noise?
“I am appalled that they are going to damage my business and others. The council has ignored businesses and residents – we don’t want it. It’s ludicrous. Common sense did not prevail.”
Shane Paull, regional managing director of McCarthy and Stone, said: “We have listened to feedback and sculpted the proposals to respond to comments received.
“Our scheme will offer benefits to the wider community including significant investment in the local economy, employment opportunities and additional business for local stores.
“We are confident we will be able to offer a sensitively designed building that reflects the character of Minehead and contributes to the local community.”