A photographic firm’s offices and warehouse could become a retirement complex under new plans.
Swains International has accepted an offer from McCarthy and Stone to buy its base, Eastlands House in Westgate, Hunstanton.
The developer, which is currently building 32 retirement appartments in St Edmund’s Terrace, is looking to create retirement appartments with care options available.
Swains currently has more space than it needs and hopes to downsize to new premises in the Lynn area.
The firm has been in Eastlands House since the 1980s and placed it on the market.
But managing director and part-owner Alan Comer said the deal with McCarthy and Stone is not straightforward.
He said: “It all depends on where McCarthy and Stone get with their planning application. We are in limbo until such time.
“We are reliably informed that the McCarthy and Stone intend to put in for planning in the early spring.
“We have plenty of time, if everything went to plan in the whole scheme of things, we have got until the middle of 2017 to move the business.”
Eastlands House boasts 23,000sq ft of warehouse space and 9,000sq ft of offices.
Mr Comer says the firm currently uses 3,000sq ft of office space and could easily get by with 12,000 to 15,000sq ft of warehousing.
He said: “The photographic industry is shrinking which means we as a business must shrink but that doesn’t mean we are going to disappear.
“We want to keep the buisness in the local area.”
The developer says its plans for Eastlands House are at an early stage but it could create up to 17 fulltime jobs.
No planning application has been submitted for the site, which would promote a independent lifestyle with a restaurant, residents lounge with on-site support and care services.
Regional director Mark Wright said: “Our Assisted Living developments offer secure accommodation to frail elderly people, allowing them to retain independence safe in the knowledge that help and support are on-hand when needed.
“We’re keen to develop an Assisted Living (Extra Care) scheme which positively contributes to the local community both through the high-quality, attractive design and the increase in local housing choice the development would bring to the area and are committed to engaging with the local community before submitting a planning application.”
A public exhibition, which will enable the wider local community to view and comment on the emerging plans, is also scheduled to be held in the coming months, with dates still to be confirmed.
For more information call the project’s freephone information line on 0800 298 7040.