Pioneering retirement village plans near Diss approved

Innovative plans for a retirement village to help meet the needs of Norfolk's ageing population have been approved.

Proposals for 76 new homes were given the go-ahead at parkland in Scole, near Diss.

The development, off Norwich Road, will be the first continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Norfolk, and will provide an alternative for people who do not want to live in a care home or sheltered housing in their later life.

It will provide 24-hour care for its elderly residents.

Members of South Norfolk Council's planning committee yesterday praised the scheme, which will include communal facilities.

The outline plans for a 3.9ha site on land near the listed Scole Lodge care home had received the backing of parish councillors and 10 letters of support, despite falling out of the village's development boundary.

Robin Tetlow, agent for the applicant, Peter Adams, a former care home owner in Scole, said the development was 'distinctive' and would create about 30 new jobs. He added that there were only about 50 CCRCs across the country and there was a recognised need for more accommodation for elderly people.

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'It is innovative and will help give the people of south Norfolk a greater choice in their older age,' he said.

Jenny Wilby, local district councillor, added that she supported the application and the employment boost.

'It is a very much-needed facility for our older generation, and it is an ideal site because of its rural location and close proximity to the care home,' she said.

The plans include a mix of 'extra care' units, including bungalows, cottages and apartments, with communal facilities such as a caf�, laundry, treatment and medical rooms, library, hair salon and shop.

The applicants have been asked to draw up plans to mitigate the impact on wildlife.

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