Planning officers at South Lakeland District Council have recommended that councillors approve an application to build dozens of retirement living apartments in Kendal.

Councillors on South Lakeland District Council’s Planning Committee will make the final decision on McCarthy and Stone’s application for the development of 55 retirement living apartments at the former Porsche Centre, Shap Road, on Thursday, August 26.

The scheme would see the brownfield site redeveloped into apartments with landscaped gardens, and on-site car parking spaces.

McCarthy and Stone undertook a series of online consultation events with residents, councillors and community organisations last year- to which more than a 1,000 people participated- and the company believes its proposal represents a ‘great opportunity’ to fulfil a housing need in the area.

Ian Wilkins, divisional managing director at McCarthy and Stone, said: “McCarthy Stone undertook an extensive consultation for our Kendal proposal.

“We held online meetings with councillors and neighbours to the site and also hosted a virtual public exhibition to which over 1,000 people were invited to view the proposals and offer feedback to the project team.

“We have listened closely to community feedback and have developed a design that is in keeping with the local character of the area.

“The majority of the formal feedback received about the preliminary plans were supportive with respondents stating that the proposal would represent a positive use of the site. We hope that the members of the Planning Committee will consider this when making their final decision.”

The planning officer’s report acknowledges that there is a need for accommodation for older people: “Paragraph 001 of the Government’s Planning Practice Guidance on “Housing for older and disabled people” is unequivocal in its message that the need to provide housing for older people is critical”.

The report goes onto say “The Government Guidance recognises retirement living, the product proposed in this application, as one of a number of types of specialist housing designed to meet th diverse needs of older people.” For more information on the proposals and the committee process, residents are asked to call 0800 298 7040.