Planned Towcester retirement home unanimously refused planning permission

A CGI image of how the retirement home would have looked if given planning approval
A CGI image of how the retirement home would have looked if given planning approval

Councillors have unanimously refused planning permission for a planned retirement home in Towcester.

Churchill Retirement Living had wanted to build the 45-apartment building at the current Towcester Commercials site on Water Lane, opposite Waitrose. The application involved bulldozing the existing bungalow currently in place on the site.

But planning officers had recommended the scheme for refusal, and councillors on South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee followed their advice, with all members declining to give the scheme the go-ahead.

Planning officers said that the building’s design ‘failed to reflect the local style’. A report by the officers states: “The proposed scheme has merit in so far as it locates the building in the most logical position on the site, creates a strong frontage and successfully screens the parking from the public realm.

“Officers do though consider that the scale and massing of the building fails to respond to the immediate context whilst the elevation treatment is random and conflicts with the formal detailing chosen.

“Further, the architectural detailing, materials and roof form all fail to reflect the local style. Officers consider that these design choices result in a scheme that fails to respond to the character of the area or reinforce local distinctiveness and therefore does not represent high-quality design. This results in significant and unacceptable harm to the character of the
area in this prominent position.”

Speaking at the planning meeting on Thursday (March 7), held at The Forum, Councillor Martin Johns said: “The scale of this building would be out of keeping with the local area.”

Towcester Town Council also objected to the application, saying that it represented an ‘over-intensification of the site’. It also criticised lack of parking, unsuitable access arrangements and a ‘detrimental impact on neighbouring residential properties’.

Had it been approved, the apartment block would have been open for people aged 60 and above with a partner aged 55 and above. It would have featured 30 one-bedroom apartments and 15 two-bedroom apartments spread over three floors.