£8m Croft plan ready to roll

A planning application is due to be submitted for an £8m retirement village on the site of The Croft.

Housing association Longhurst Group wants to restore the house in North Road, Bourne, to its former glory and build up to 60 bungalows for people aged over 55 in the grounds. The association hopes to submit an application to South Kesteven District Council within the next week. 

Longhurst partnerships director Alan Whyte said: “We feel excited by the proposals and we hope the application will receive a fair hearing. “I feel very confident that we will achieve something that will be as least as good as any other residential development in the Bourne area.”

Mr Whyte said if planning approval was given the association would look to start building work as soon as the housing market was “buoyant”. He said: “The housing market is such that at the moment we don’t feel we could make an immediate start but we hope that before too long we will be able to start work.”

Under the £8m plans the derelict mansion house will be restored at an estimated cost of £200,000. Its intended use is as a community area with a manager’s office and kitchen.

During a consultation event last July more than 60 people gave their views. Some raised concerns about traffic congestion and as a result the plans have been adapted so access is through North Road, Charles Close and Maple Gardens.

Mr Whyte said: “The development is unlikely to lead to any traffic congestion at all. “We looked at other identical retirement schemes and only 30 per cent of our residents own a car.” The driveway leading up to the house would remain unchanged and the Victorian lamp standards that were once on Bourne Railway Station will also be restored. The bungalows will be mostly onestorey.

If plans are approved the group intends to buy the site from its current owners the Cook family. In 2005 a planning application for 51 homes on the site was rejected after a planning inquiry.

The inspector ruled it was a greenfield site and the development would harm the character of the area.Residents also had road safety concerns about the scheme.