PROPOSALS for a retirement complex on the site of a demolished eyesore office block have been trimmed back.

Councillors are being recommended to grant conditional approval for 88 assisted living extra care apartments in Paul Street, Taunton, at Taunton Deane Borough Council's planning meeting on Wednesday.

The seven-floor development on the site of the former Quantock House would include a ground-floor restaurant, parking for cars and mobility scooters and public art.

There would also be a health and wellbeing facility along with services such as hairdressers, kitchen, laundry, treatment rooms, residents' lounge, dining area, quiet lounge and community room for hire.

The revised plans reduce the area being built on and lower the overall height of the building, on the corner of Mary Street.

Previous proposals for an additional 68-bed care home and shops to replace the eight-storey former Government offices, which had been vacant for several years before being bulldozed in December, have been axed

Christine O'Grady, community engagement manager at developers Quantum, said the scheme would regenerate a previously unused site into "a wonderful place that will revitalise the surrounding area, create a new community for people aged over 55, help to boost the local economy and provide employment opportunities".

She added that Quantum, which has worked closely with the Deane, local groups and community representatives, will provide private gardens and a range of shared amenities for residents to enjoy.

The application, to be considered by Taunton Deane's planning committee at West Monkton Primary School on Wednesday, at 6.15pm, has received ten letters of support.

An officer's report to the meeting says: "The proposed development is considered to be an acceptable town centre use.

"The development of the site will render the retail allocation undeliverable - there is currently sufficient allocations for retail development elsewhere."

It adds: "The proposal is, therefore, considered to be acceptable in principle and the main issue is the design of the development, its impact upon heritage assets and visual impact generally.

"In terms of the visual impacts, the presence of the new building would be felt from a good many locations across the town.

"However, this is unlikely to cause a significant adverse visual impact in its own right to the detriment of the general

amenity of the area. The current scheme is lower than that previously approved.

"There will clearly be an impact on the skyline...(but) your officers consider that the proposal will cause less than substantial harm to the setting of heritage assets and that, on balance, this is outweighed by the benefits of

providing bespoke elderly persons accommodation in this highly accessible location."