Objections to application for retirement village on popular parkland

An aerial view of the proposed site with the River Stour to the north and cricket club to the south

An aerial view of the proposed site with the River Stour to the north and cricket club to the south - Credit: ES Landscape Planning

A long-awaited application to build a retirement home on a greenbelt next to the River Stour has been met with criticism by locals concerned about wildlife and a consultation has been launched.

McCarthy and Stone revealed their fresh plans for 53-home retirement home in early 2021, submitting the final application to Tendring district Council on March 3.

The developer has proposed 42 apartments and 11 bungalows on the land formerly used as an animal rescue centre, while the Mistley Tea Rooms have stayed open.

The site is sandwiched between Manningtree Walls and the Mistley Cricket Club and Welcome Home Field, with a clear view across to the River Stour.

Most crucially, the plans include the transfer of more than two thirds of the land to Mistley Parish Council to secure the long-term future of the site for the public.

Artists impressions of the retirement village at Mistley Place Park

Artists impressions of the retirement village at Mistley Place Park - Credit: McCarthy and Stone

The transfer of assets will also include the Tea Rooms, where future use can support the on-going maintenance cost of Mistley Place Park.

However, already there are 39 objections on the application, citing concerns the development would 'blight' views of the River Stour and interrupt the 'green gap'.

One comment said: "Mistley Place Park forms part of the strategic green gap that prevents coalescence between the settlements of Manningtree and Mistley."

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Another remarked that a three storey building wouldn't fit in with the surrounding landscape, adding: "It's going destroy the feel of the place."

Most objections voice fears for the local wildlife and biodiversity. However, McCarthy and Stone have pledged a wildflower meadow, ecological lake treatment, roosting and nesting features for wildlife and more planting.

McCarthy and Stone say the development will fill a rising demand for specialist older persons accommodation as laid out in the local plan.

Mistley Parish Council has now launched its own consultation before submitting an official comment, to be conducted by both social media and a meeting via Zoom, to enable a response guided by the parishioners.

In a statement the council said: "The parish council plans to carry out a public consultation on the application to ensure that the views and opinions of the parishioners of Mistley are represented in its response to Tendring District Council."

The open council meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 7.30pm.

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