THE conversion of a listed former NHS building in Taunton into an assisted living complex has moved a step closer.

A planning application for the project at the four-acre Lyngford House site has been submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council.

Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group Ltd (AHH) wants to build a total of 45 dwellings there.

The application is to convert and refurbish the Grade II listed Lyngford House into three apartments with communal facilities.

The proposals also include the replacement of the scullery with an apartment building of six apartments and the conversion and refurbishment of associated listed cottages into three houses.

AHH - previously known as Quantum - is also seeking permission to demolish the former conference centre and apartment block and to close the Lyngford Lane site entrance and relocate the Selworthy Road entrance.

The overall plan would be for 36 houses/lodges/cottages, all with private landscaped gardens, and nine apartments. Each property would have access to external amenity spaces.

As well as the main building, the site currently features a cottage and stable block dating from around 1830, a 1980s purpose-built 18-bedroom hotel block, a detached conference building, parking and grounds.

An AHH spokesperson said: "The aim is to regenerate the site by constructing new buildings and converting the existing listed buildings into 45 C2 assisted living homes, exclusively for people over the age of 55."

The company bought Lyngford House, which had been used by the NHS as a training and conference centre, for £1.1million in 2017.

The start of work on the scheme, along with dozens of other construction projects, had been blocked for months over phosphate contamination fears.

Oliver Hunter, chief executive of Bournemouth-based AHH, told the County Gazette: "We’re very excited to be developing out the Lyngford House site.

"It will deliver 45 top quality new-build apartments and houses for older people, not to mention the conversion of the listed house.

"This will safeguard the heritage of the building for future generations and deliver much needed affordable housing."

AHH has also nearly completed its Platinum Skies retirement development on the site of the former Quantock House, in Paul Street, Taunton.

Mr Hunter said the two sites would "work in conjunction as retirement living locations in Taunton”.