Redesign demand for 'very poor' elderly flats plansBy Stephen Lloyd
March 20, 2013
DEVELOPERS behind plans to build 63 extra care apartments for elderly people at a gateway site into Fleet have been told to go back to the drawing board.
Yourlife Management Service Limited (YMSL) wants to build 38 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom apartments on the corner of Fleet Road and Kings Road.
But Hart District Council’s planning committee has deferred a decision and called for amended plans.
At a meeting last Wednesday (March 13), the committee said it was content with the principle of development but concerned about the proposed design.
Members questioned the amount of amenity space for residents and whether the central square would receive sunlight.
They called for a re-think on the layout of the ground floor along the Fleet Road frontage to minimise the effects of antisocial behaviour on residents. They also want to see a better courtyard design, more usable for residents.
Members have asked for amended plans to be brought back otherwise the application will be refused for a number of reasons.
These include the proposal failing to be of good design and being likely to have a significant adverse effect on the Special Protection Area.
Fleet Town Council has consistently objected to the scheme due to the mass and bulk of the proposed building, inadequate car parking and the design being out of keeping with buildings on the other side of the road.
The area architects’ panel warned it was “very concerned” the architectural quality was “very poor”.
It added the “strange” internal layouts, lack of balconies and lack of daylight needed further thought.
While some residents wrote in saying they were in favour of the scheme, others objected to the fact the building would be higher than the existing one and that no thought had been given to the siting of bedrooms, which would face the main road.
They also highlighted noise and disturbance, insufficient parking and loss of privacy.
The site is currently occupied by two 1980s office blocks that have both been vacant for a number of years.