Matlock retirement apartments plan earmarked for approval

The plans have been recommended for approval.
The plans have been recommended for approval.

Plans for eight retirement apartments next to a historic chapel and nursing home in Matlock are set for approval.

The proposal, from Progressive Care Ltd, would see the new block built in the “informal” parking area of Lilybank Hydro Gardens Nursing Home, in Chesterfield Road.

The new apartments would be contained in a three-storey block and would be aimed at people aged at least 55.

Derbyshire Dales District Council will decide on the application on Tuesday, October 9.

Planning permission for a similar seven-bed scheme was approved in 2003 and renewed in 2009 but this has lapsed due to inaction.

Council officers say the size of the proposed building is much larger than houses in the area but fits in with the existing – and also large – care home building on the site.

They have recommended that the plans should be approved.

Matlock Civic Association has welcomed the idea, stating that it “will make good use of a neglected site within a building design that respects the setting”.

Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Burfoot has several concerns over the scheme, including car parking, access and scale – calling it “excessively large”.

He wrote: “Since there is no space within the site, it is proposed to provide parking spaces to the rear of the site, but apparently by confiscating spaces at present available for staff and visitors to the care home.

“Therefore, it appears that there will be an issue of overspill parking, either alongside the exit drive or on Chesterfield Road itself, thereby causing further problems of obstruction and congestion opposite Turnpike Close, as well as problems for existing residents.

“If these matters cannot be resolved, I think the scale of the development should be reduced to something more sustainable, otherwise it should be refused, as currently proposed.”

The application states that the site currently has 12 parking spaces, and that nine more would be added.

A lift would be installed in the new building and residents will be able to draw on the services already offered by Lilybank care home staff.

A letter from the agents for the scheme, John Church Planning Consultancy Ltd, submitted with the application, states that “the proposed development, respects the character and physical characteristics of this gently sloping site and existing buildings”.

It also states that the site is close to Matlock’s amenities and “makes efficient use of the site” by “redeveloping an area formerly occupied by old outworn buildings”.

Council officers recommending its approval, stated: “Whilst it is recognised that the development will almost fill the available space on the site it is considered that the quality of development proposed will assimilate well into the surroundings and will preserve the character and appearance of the area.”