£2m bid for 62 new independent living apartments for over 55s

An aerial view of the land north-east of Yarmouth Road, Stalham

An aerial view of the land north-east of Yarmouth Road, Stalham - Credit: Google

A plan to create 62 apartments for people over 55 to live independently in has faced objection from a town council, which has said the development would dominate the skyline. 

Medcentres Plc has applied to North Norfolk District Council for permission to build the development on land north-east of Yarmouth Road in Stalham.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) has invested £2m to make the project a reality.

But in an objection to the current plan, a statement from Stalham Town Council, published online with planning papers, reads: “This is completely out of keeping with both the local and the wider environment in the town.

“This will be overpowering at such a height, and will be very apparent on the local skyline completely dominating that end of the town.

“The council recognises that social care and assisted living is an area of development that needs addressing, but to have such a large isolated development will not be supported, and not in this location.”

Independent living schemes allow people aged over 55 to live in their own flat, with support available on site should they need it.  

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Bill Borrett, NCC cabinet member for adult social care, said: “This is a really exciting project. Norfolk’s residents tell us that they want to live independently for as long as possible, which is also better for their wellbeing.

Scenes from the Norfolk County Council Election count at Memorial Hall in Dereham for the Breckland

Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for adult social care, Bill Borrett, who is the Conservative member for Upper Wensum. - Credit: Matthew Usher

“That’s why we launched our £29m Independent Living programme. Our second scheme is already under construction in Acle and I’m recommending that the cabinet approves the plans for Stalham.”

A report says Norfolk requires 2,842 independent living units by 2028, including 486 in North Norfolk. NCC’s cabinet will discuss the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, August 2. 

The proposed Stalham scheme is made up of 30 two-bed flats and 32 one-bed flats on a two-acre site. All homes are to be affordable and accessible.

NCC said the new scheme would be an ideal location for independent living, as it is located close to a GP surgery, library, supermarket and a bus stop.

Subject to planning approval, construction would begin in December 2021 and the scheme should be completed by summer 2023.