‘Dismay’ at proposal for 36 new retirement apartments in Seaford

A group of councillors say they are ‘dismayed’ by proposals for 36 new retirement apartments in Seaford.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:43 pm
An impression of the proposed site in Seaford

They say the town already has sufficient housing for older people and fear the development in Sutton Road would put added strain on local services.

Churchill Retirement Living wants to demolish the four large detached homes currently at the site and build a ‘high quality, purpose built’ two-and-a-half storey retirement development, consisting of one and two bedroom apartments.

Aimed at the over 60s, apartment buyers would live independently but benefit from a communal owners’ lounge, a guest suite, a lodge manager, and a 24-hour emergency call alarm service.

The developer said the scheme would bring ‘much needed new homes, jobs and investment’ to the area.

But councillor Stephen Gauntlett, one of those opposed to the scheme, said: “The town is over-provided for in terms of accommodation for older people with places in the newest Hortsley development remaining unsold.

“We need affordable accommodation for families and young people who are struggling to find somewhere to rent in the town, let alone somewhere to buy.”

Councillor Christine Brett said other retirement developments in the town had ‘increased pressure on our hard-pressed medical services’.

Councillor Carolyn Lambert agreed, and said there was already ‘plenty of accommodation in Seaford for older people’.

“Our schools are full and our medical services, water and sewerage are at capacity,” she said.

“I have already brought a Notice of Motion to the County Council about the congestion on the A259 and the dangerous junctions.

“This development will only add to the problem.”
A spokesman for Churchill Retirement Living said: “There is a compelling overall housing need in Seaford and the surrounding area, especially for older people.

“Between 2019 and 2030 the number of over 65s living in Lewes is forecast to increase by 24 per cent.”

Helping older people to downsize will free up under-occupied houses in the local area for families throughout the housing chain, according to the company.

“We estimate our planned development would help release around 72 second hand homes onto the market, helping around 24 first time buyers onto the ladder,” the spokesman said.

“Independent research shows that there are significant health and social care savings to be gained by enabling older people to live a safer and more independent lifestyle in housing where help on hand when they need it.

“The proposed development will therefore help reduce pressure on local health and social care services, not increase it.

“Being within walking distance of local shops and services, as well as public transport links, means many apartment owners will opt to go ‘car-free’, reducing emissions and strain on the local transport network.

“Retirement housing is also the most effective form of residential development to generate local economic growth, create local jobs, and increase high street spend as we look to recover from the pandemic.”