Development would create an ‘older persons’ ghetto’

The Victorian Swallow Brewery building would be demolished to make way for the development
The Victorian Swallow Brewery building would be demolished to make way for the development

Plans to tear down a historic site to build 50 apartments have been condemned by Arundel Town Council.

Under the proposals, a Victorian industrial site and vacant property in Fitzalan Road would be demolished to make way for sheltered housing for the elderly.

Responding to a previous Gazette article about the development, the council raised concerns that the building would be too big and built in a flood risk zone.

The council said there is a ‘surplus’ of retirement homes on the market, many near the site, and this would ‘further create the feeling of an older persons’ “ghetto”.’

Councillors also raised concerns over the lack of affordable housing for younger people in the town.

Residents were able to view artists’ impressions of the plans at the Norfolk Arms Hotel earlier this month.

Mayor councillor James Stewart said: “We would object strongly to this development based on the plans presented at the open day on December 7.

“We have yet to hear from any resident who attended the open day and is in support of the scheme,” he added.

He also highlighted the ‘historic and architectural interest’ of the former Swallow Brewery building on the site, and said the council hoped it could incorporated into any development.

The proposals are being developed by Renaissance Retirement Limited, with initial drawings suggesting the building would be three storeys high contianing a mix of one and two-bedroom flats.

Mr Stewart pointed to the town’s Neighbourhood Plan, created to shape future building in Arundel, which says: ‘Arundel is developing fast in the 21st Century as a modern market town, heritage and cultural centre.

‘This mix of development needs to be carefully managed to protect the town and to proceed in line with the wishes of local people.’

The plan says 24 dwellings would be appropriate on the site, rather than the proposed 50, Mr Stewart added.

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