McCarthy & Stone hits back at criticism of plans for ‘much-needed’ Exmouth retirement community

McCarthy and Stone has responded to criticism of its plans for 59 retirement apartments in Exmouth – saying the ‘much-needed’ scheme could inject £10.9million into the local economy.

The developer has submitted proposals for the accommodation, exclusively for over-70s, and a two-storey office block on land next to Tesco off Salterton Road.

It claims an additional 150 ‘Extra Care’ properties will be needed in the town alone – as East Devon’s number of pensioners is expected to rocket over the next two decades.

The firm also says its mooted retirement community will create 17 jobs and would ‘free up large, family-sized homes’.

Exmouth Town Council last week slammed the application, with one member saying: “I propose refusal and I propose we always refuse this until something gets built on that site which gives young people a future in this town, not old people a place to go and die.”

The site off Salterton Road in Exmouth. Picture: Google Maps

In response, Shane Paull, regional managing director for McCarthy and Stone, has said of its plans for a ‘much-needed’ retirement community and ‘high-quality’ offices: “We recognise the provision of general needs accommodation, including that for young people, is important, but it is the case that [the]majority of new housing seeks to address this need.

“Specialist retirement accommodation is a small percentage of the overall provision.

“In this regard, older people’s housing is categorised as having a critical need on a national scale, with only two per cent of current housing in the UK specifically designed to meet the needs of older people.

“In East Devon, over 65s are older than the national average and are anticipated to increase by 43 per cent over the next 20 years.

“As a result, the East Devon Local Plan aims to secure new Extra Care accommodation in all its towns and larger villages, identifying the need for an additional 150 Extra Care properties in Exmouth alone.

An artist's impression of the proposed 'extra care' retirement apartments proposed for a site off Salterton Road in Exmouth featured in the planning application. Image courtesy of Stride Treglown/YourLife Management Services Ltd/McCarthy & Stone

An artist’s impression of the proposed ‘extra care’ retirement apartments proposed for a site off Salterton Road in Exmouth featured in the planning application. Image courtesy of Stride Treglown/YourLife Management Services Ltd/McCarthy & Stone

“The Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan also identifies a need for ‘supported housing’.

“Extra Care accommodation enables older people to live independent, healthy and active lives in their own apartment, making them feel happier and healthier, with access to on-site flexible care, and support available 24-hours a day.

“Shared spaces offer a ready-made community, including a restaurant, communal lounge, wellness suite and a guest suite, ideal for when friends and family come to stay.

“The alternative to such accommodation is older residents staying in homes which may no longer be suitable for their needs or having to move to nursing homes.

“It is also a good form of housing for the local market.

“Most residents move from a four-mile radius and free up large-family-sized homes, helping young families and, further down the chain, first time buyers. Each move to a retirement property results in a further two to three moves in the chain.

The two-and-a-half-acre plot is next to the Tesco superstore. Image from the planning application, courtesy of Stride Treglown/YourLife Management Services Ltd/McCarthy & Stone

The two-and-a-half-acre plot is next to the Tesco superstore. Image from the planning application, courtesy of Stride Treglown/YourLife Management Services Ltd/McCarthy & Stone

“Our revised plans have been amended in response to local feedback.

“As well as delivering jobs within the new flexible office space proposed, the Extra Care accommodation will also create 17 jobs, with additional job creation during the construction phase, with similar developments injecting £10.9million into the local economy on average.”

Town council planning committee members unanimously panned the bid at a meeting on Monday, January 20.

East Devon District Council will decide the fate of McCarthy and Stone’s plans.

OPINION: ‘Much-needed Exmouth retirement community will free up family-sized homes,’ says McCarthy & Stone

‘Give young people a future, not old people a place to go and die’ – plan for 59 retirement apartments slammed by councillors

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