Plans for a huge “retirement village” could finally come to fruition - 11 years on.
Would-be developers of the 300 bungalows, residential care home and community facilities scheme on the site of the old Storthes Hall Hospital building are hopeful that Kirklees Council will pass two “final” planning applications that are currently being considered.
A formal consultation is now under way for the approval of a reserved matters application for the Storthes Hall Lane site, while another application for a discharge of conditions has also been submitted.
The access, appearance, landscape, layout and scale of the project all need to be given the final go-ahead through the consultation, which will run until May 4.
West Yorkshire Police has already submitted concerns regarding the scheme’s path designs, some of which it believes could increase the opportunity for crime.
David Storrie Planning entered the applications on behalf of The Storthes Hall Continuing Care Retirement Community developer team, which involves Younger Homes, who say that if they are successful it will allow them to finally start building on the site.
The group first received approval for the scheme 11 years ago in 2005.
Development had been stymied by wrangling between the developers and planners over a requirement to include 20% affordable housing, which was eventually removed in February this year.
This was due to the council’s 2012 approval of the scheme to be solely for those aged over 60 who would not be able to live in one of the homes independently of the communal facilities aspect.
A library, medical centre, swimming pool, small shop, gym, arts and crafts area, bar, restaurant, workshop, village hall, indoor bowling carpet are amongst the facilities that will be on offer to those in the bungalows or care home.
Terry Martin is the Younger Homes scheme’s project manager and has been working on the project for 12 years.
He said:“These conditions were approved in previous applications.
“The council has eight weeks to make a decision on the application and we are hoping for as quick a decision as possible.
“We want to get started on what I think is a wonderful retirement scheme.
“There aren’t many of this type around and the closest existing site to ours is Ryefields in Wolverhampton.
“When we last did a consultation people wanted to know when they could move in.
“This is the final set of applications before building work can go ahead.
“We can’t yet say how long is likely to take.”