Council approves controversial retirement home plans

Controversial plans for 53 retirement homes for the elderly and disabled in Henley have been approved this week.

Retirement house builder McCarthy & Stone was granted permission to build assisted living flats at a former Jet petrol station site in Reading Road.

Residents who had been campaigning for normal and affordable housing reacted angrily to the council’s decision, the Henley Standard reported.

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David Hinke, chair of a steering group for a rival plan for ordinary and affordable housing, said: “The youth of this town, both residents and workers, have been badly let down by a district council that is scared of its own shadow and will not take on the developers.

“Its main concerns are financial targets, leading to fear of appeals and not the will of the people.”

Henley Mayor Julian Brookes added: “We could fill 53 flats six times over with young people from Henley. It is not a result that we accept and we will analyse this decision very carefully so that steps are taken so that we are better prepared next time. We will fight each and every application.”

Two more applications for care homes are pending for the area: B&M Care has applied for permission to build a 60-bed home; and Essex company Henthames is seeking to convert a former LA Fitness gym into an 80-bed care home.

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