Doncaster councillors reject plans for three-storey retirement block

Plans for a three-storey retirement block and 12 bungalows in a Doncaster town has been thrown out by councillors.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 5:41 pm

More than half of the planning committee rejected a scheme by Housing 21 for 58 retirement apartments and 12 bungalows on green space off Highfield Road in Askern.

Housing 21 said the properties would be ‘100 per cent social housing’ and all were available to rent available for the local population.

But DMBC (Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council) ward councillors and Askern Town Council member Francis Jackson, spoke in opposition to the plans and all said the site should be developed for bungalows as there was a big demand in the area.

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The area that was outlined for development

After a lengthy debate, the planning committee rejected the scheme and raised concerns over vehicle access from Highfield Road, the loss of hedgerows and the development not keeping to the surrounding area.

Askern Coun Iris Beech, said: “We don’t need a three-storey block and some bungalows shoved in a corner between a block parking space and a railway line - I don’t think that it’s very good for people.

“We need bungalows and without them we’re going to have this situation where people sit in their properties and basically have to wait until somebody dies until a home is suitable for them.

“We’ve been completely ignored around what we want. Why can’t we have what we desperately need?

Land at the bottom of Highfield Road, Askern. Picture: Marie Caley

Fellow Askern Coun Austen White said the number of bungalows provided in the plans were ‘crumbs from the master’s table’.

He said: “There’s so much wrong with this. It says it matches the scale of the properties in the surrounding area, it does not. There are bungalows around the area not a three-storey monolithic-style block.”

David Storey, a town planner speaking on behalf of the applicant, said bungalows take up a ‘considerable amount of land’ and the scheme needed to be ‘viable’.

“We have listened to the concerns with respect and the plan has been amended to accommodate bungalows,” he said.

An artist's impression of the retirement complex. Image: D5 planning

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Jackson said: “People who are in houses at the moment can’t retire to accomodation that’s more appropriate and that’s what we need.”

It is understood Housing 21 will appeal the decision.