Councillors defer decision on McCarthy & Stone scheme in Beverley amid concerns over 'sheer size' and "huge overlooking' of neighbours

Councillors have deferred a decision on “high quality” retirement apartments overlooking Beverley Westwood which have sparked objections from Beverley town council and the civic society for a site visit.

Artist's impression of the new McCarthy & Stone retirement apartment scheme
Artist's impression of the new McCarthy & Stone retirement apartment scheme

McCarthy & Stone want to build 51 apartments on the site of a derelict nursing home on Langholm Close, down a quiet cul de sac, accessed by a private road.

St Mary’s councillor Linda Johnson told the eastern area planning sub committee on Monday no one disagreed that the site needed redeveloping, but its "sheer size" was the problem.

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She expressed concern about how it would affect views approaching the town from Beverley Westwood and said newer housing had been sympathetically designed “to make you feel as if it was always meant to be there”.

One councillor said the building would be "in your face", dominate the skyline and Juliet balconies would look "alien"

However the proposed scheme “will be in your face, jump out at you, dominate the skyline”.

Coun Denis Healy suggested the size of the new build would be around treble the footprint of the existing building and the number of windows meant “practically every property in the locality will be affected in some way” and there would be “huge overlooking”.

He added: "It's almost monolithic in its appearance."

Coun Barbara Jefferson said she feared the views from the west over the Racecourse and the Hurn would be "absolutely changed", adding: "To me it is complete overdevelopment".

The site proposed for the new McCarthy & Stone development

The agent for the developer said they'd worked with council officers to address various issues, including deleting dormer windows on more sensitive elevations.

And he said the scheme would result in significant benefits, including addressing the identified need for older people's housing.

The average age of those taking up apartments was 83 and such schemes gave people a "new lease of life".

The old building, he added, had been subject to many acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.