Retirement village near Preston will be first in Lancashire with everything for over-55's in one place
The first all-in-one "older person's village" in Lancashire has been given a double thumbs up on farmland near Preston.
Two phases of a unique development have been approved by the city council to cater for all age groups over 55, despite what their care needs might be.
Phase One, which will see the construction of 20 bungalows, 60 apartments, a 60-bed care home and a GP surgery on land off Preston Road, Grimsargh, was approved two weeks ago.
Now Phase Two, right next door, has also been granted permission and will provide a 30-bed dementia care facility.
"The development will be a first for Lancashire due to its comprehensive nature through the provision of accommodation for all age groups over 55 years with varying care needs," says a planning report to the council.
The idea of a village catering solely for older people in Grimsargh was first raised almost three years ago and given outline planning consent.
The land chosen by Bamber Bridge-based developer Applethwaite Ltd is adjacent to the former Grimsargh House Care Home which was closed down by the Care Quality Commissioner in March 2017 after a string of inadequate inspections.
Council officers have recommended that both phases of the new development should be approved despite a small number of objections from residents nearby, including one from a local who described the older person's village idea as "abhorrent to the concept of village life."
The objector wrote: "Older people should not have their own village, they should live with people of all ages and generations and this is not a natural way to live."
Concerns were also raised that the plans would lead to an “overdevelopment” of the site and that the bungalows - at almost five-and-a-half metres tall - were “not low level.”
But in recommending the two phases can go ahead, officers said the idea of an older person's village would bring "social, economic and environmental benefits" to the wider village of Grimsargh.
"The proposal as a whole seeks to provide purpose-built homes for people aged over 55 in the form of residential accommodation and care accommodation.
"A variety of accommodation is provided to meet the needs of the people of retirement age as they progress through their later years.
"The dementia care unit forms an integral part of the innovative, high quality residential and care development for Grimsargh and its hinterland."
Talking about the need for dementia care accommodation in the area, the officers' report says: "There are currently over 10,000 people in Lancashire who have been diagnosed with dementia.
"But it is estimated that the actual figure of people living with the condition could be much higher.
"That means thousands of people who could have dementia are not accessing treatment and support to help them live well with the condition."