Plans unveiled for large retirement complex on old school site in Staple Hill

Just two people responded to an online consultation on the plans

Plans have been unveiled for four-storey retirement apartment complex on the site of a former infant school in Staple Hill - but none of the proposed 42 flats would be classed as ‘affordable housing’.

Churchill Retirement Living has submitted a planning application to South Gloucestershire Council for the development at the site for the former Staple Hill Infant School, which was demolished three years ago.

The scheme would be in one block lining the corner of Page Road and be made up of one and two-bed apartments. Each bedroom would have a shower and toilet, and there would be communal living rooms and kitchens.

It would be for people over a specific age who want to remain independent, safe and sociable, says the company in its application. There would also be a car park at the rear of the site.

The developer has also applied for exceptional circumstances not to provide affordable housing as part of the scheme. The council’s policy states that developments with 10 or more homes should provide 35% affordable housing.

How the four-storey retirement complex would look like from Page Road

It states that as residents would be paying ‘comparatively high service charges to obtain communal benefits’, a separate block would have to be created for affordable housing and the cost of this would make the scheme unviable.

Rather bizarrely, also, the company has submitted a community engagement document which provides responses on a project website from just two people. The organisers, DevComms, said it sent letters to 272 addresses in the area, pointing people to the website. An advert was also placed in the Bristol Post.

Churchill Retirement Living said the scheme was needed to meet an aging population.

Staple Hill Infant School was demolished three years ago at the site

In its supporting document, the company said: “The proposed building is functional, healthy and sustainable. It provides age-friendly environment that helps address the on-set or increase of mobility problems.

“The compansionship and community spirit developed in retriemenet housing can help reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and drepresses.”

It added: “The proposal makes efficient use of the land.”

A decision on the planning application, which can be viewed here by using reference number P22/05589/F, will be made in the coming months.