Developers seeking feedback on proposed retirement homes project

Lavenham's village sign

McCarthy Stone are looking for feedback from Lavenham residents for their proposed retirement accommodation - Credit: Tudor Morgan-Owen

A key commercial site in the heart of one of Suffolk's most historic and beautiful villages is set to be redeveloped with retirement accommodation.

Leading UK property developer and manager of retirement communities McCarthy Stone is asking for feedback from Lavenham residents on its proposed redevelopment of the brownfield site.  

The company has acquired an interest in the Lavenham Press site on Water Street to redevelop it with high-quality retirement living accommodation, following the already planned relocation of the Lavenham Press.

Matt Wills, McCarthy Stone’s Midlands divisional managing director, said: “We are keen to develop a scheme that positively contributes to the local community through a high-quality, attractive design.

“We will therefore be involving the local community throughout the planning application process as we believe it is vital for local people to be given the opportunity to offer their feedback.”

The developer is "committed" to engaging with the local community and has already written to local representatives and close neighbours of the site to give them an opportunity to discuss the initial proposals via online one-to-one meetings.  

In the coming weeks, McCarthy Stone will be hosting a virtual exhibition for the wider community to view and comment on the scheme. 

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The property developers believe that Lavenham is an area where there is a local need for retirement accommodation.

They also believe the retirement apartments will allow occupants looking to ease the burden of maintaining a large property the opportunity to downsize, releasing larger family homes onto the market and in turn minimising the need to build on local greenfield sites.

Babergh councillor Robert Lindsay said that although the developers have not revealed their plans yet, he would like so see affordable houses in Lavenham for residents to downsize into and he hopes that McCarthy Stone will take that into consideration.

Mr Lindsay said: "McCarthy Stone have revealed no details at all as yet of their plans. However, they specialise in providing what are effectively luxury apartments for the wealthy.

"So far as I know, there will be no affordable provision in their plans at all. 

"Many residents in Lavenham and many other neighbouring villages that I represent, do have a need for smaller homes to downsize to but many need to be affordable, not just smaller."

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