Plans to build apartments and bungalows for the elderly

The Advertiser Series: DEVELOPMENT PLANS: Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, left, and Sowerby Parish Council chairman Councillor Bill Austin examine plans last year for a proposed sports village which will be added to the Sowerby development DEVELOPMENT PLANS: Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, left, and Sowerby Parish Council chairman Councillor Bill Austin examine plans last year for a proposed sports village which will be added to the Sowerby development

PROPOSALS to build a 90 home extra care development as part of a larger housing scheme will go before planners this week.

The plans involve the creation of a three-storey building with 64 apartments, along with retail and cafe facilities and 26 semi-detached bungalows around a landscaped square at Sowerby, near Thirsk.

The development is designed to allow residents the opportunity for independent living in their own homes with care and support available 24 hours a day.

More than 50 of the apartments and 12 of the bungalows will have two bedrooms, which the planning report said “reflect the needs of our ageing population – notably the increasing number of older couples”.

Most of the properties will be owned and managed by Tristar Homes, a housing association which is part of the Vela Group.

Plans for the extra care facility have received the support of Sowerby Parish Council and have been recommended for approval by Hambleton District Council’s planning committee, which meets on Thursday (March 6).

A report compiled by the council’s planning officers states: “The proposal to include a mixture of apartments and two bedroom bungalows is welcomed.

"This will contribute towards meeting the housing needs and aspirations of older people in the area, offer greater housing choice than apartments alone and help older people to better plan their future housing and support needs."

The extra care facility would be built off Topcliffe Road, as part of the Sowerby Gateway site. Work has already begun on the first phase of Sowerby Gateway, which involves creating 107 homes and commercial buildings.

Future proposals for Sowerby Gateway will involve a school, pub and other retail developments near the neighbourhood centre, general details of which have been submitted in an outline planning application. Sowerby Gateway will also eventually include a sports village.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with developers to complete 44 extra care housing schemes by 2020 to replace elderly people's homes and to cut the numbers of elderly people being placed into residential and nursing care.

It says the facilities are needed to cater for North Yorkshire’s rapidly ageing population.

An extra care development is also nearing completion in Chapel Street, Sowerby, which will replace the former Cherry Garth residential home for the elderly. The first phase of the development will include 52 flats, a public library and range of communal facilities.

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