A DECISION to block plans to allow the building of a retirement home which could have seriously harmed the character of Alcester has been upheld on appeal.
The proposed development by Churchill Retirement Living could have seen 36 sheltered apartments for the elderly built on Priory Road in replace of three homes.
The application was opposed by Alcester Town councillors and rejected by Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s West Area Planning Committee due to the number of Georgian Grade 2 listed homes and a 14th Century house which would be destroyed as part of the plans.
An appeal by the applicants was put forward in July arguing the building would respect the character of neighbouring properties and there was an increasing need for elderly accommodation.
But planning inspector Frances Mahoney rejected the appeal over fears it would impact on the appearance of the surrounding area.
In the report she said: “The loss of three existing dwellings would not diminish the quality or character of this part of the town. It is the quality of design and scale of the proposed building to replace them which is in contention in this case.”
She added the building would be out of scale with the general surroundings, diminish the character and integrity of heritage assets and create a ‘real and serious harm’.
But she said the site did have potential for sheltered accommodation and understood the design requirements needed, while acknowledging it would enhance the town’s economy.
Mark Cargill, Stratford District and Alcester Town Councillor, said it was a great day for Alcester.
“It will keep the character and ambiance of the road which is a conservation area and the main gateway into the town. It’s good news for the town of Alcester.”