Developers lodge appeal over Hunstanton retirement homes plan ahead of council debate

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Plans to build dozens of retirement homes in Hunstanton will go before borough councillors next week, even though they’re not being asked to decide whether they should go ahead.

That’s because the would-be developer of the former Warehouse Clearance Shop site in St Edmunds Terrace has already lodged an appeal over the delay in a decision being reached on the scheme.

McCarthy and Stone wants to build 31 retirement flats, with car parking, on the site, which is in the resort’s conservation area.

The current application was lodged with West Norfolk Council in June last year and the company has appealed to the government Planning Inspectorate over the delay in a decision being reached.

But borough council planners say the delay was triggered by revisions to the scheme made earlier this year that required a second public consultation exercise.

That did not finish until March and the council says that meant there was not enough time to bring the application before the planning committee’s last meeting in April.

The report also stated that negotiations between them and the developer had been continuing when the appeal was lodged.

It went on: “The proposal has attracted a significant level of interest from consultees, some of which is supportive of the proposals but there are significant concerns that remain unaddressed.”

Because an appeal has been lodged, the final decision will now be made by a government inspector and the committee’s deliberations will form part of the authority’s submissions.

The developers maintain that the site is an “ideal” location for housing specifically for elderly people, though opponents have raised concerns over issues including noise and traffic access.

They also claim the scheme conflicts with previous development plans for the town.

The application will be considered at a meeting of the West Norfolk Council planning committee in Lynn on Monday.