Fears community will be broken up with bungalows to be demolished for affordable housing

Bungalows for older people built in the 1960s are to be demolished to make way for a new affordable housing development.

The bungalows in Fairfield Close, Gobowen, were built in the 1960s
The bungalows in Fairfield Close, Gobowen, were built in the 1960s

There have been fears that the loss of the complex in Gobowen will see the breakup of the elderly/vulnerable community living there.

But Shropshire Council last week granted planning permission for the project.

The 24 existing bungalows at Fairfield Close in the centre of the village will be replaced by 20 new homes and 12 apartments in a scheme put forward by Star Housing. The land is owned by Shropshire Council.

In her report Tracy Darke, the council's assistant director of economy and place, said the new homes would be a 100 per cent affordable housing scheme.

"The dwellings/apartments are a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable units available as affordable rent or shared ownership," she said.

She said the bungalows had been built in the 1960s.

"Given the age of the existing buildings, which are small one-bedroom bedsits, they no longer meet modern living standards. The buildings are also inefficient in terms of their thermal performance and the applicant advises that they are also difficult to adapt for their user group."

While the parish council supported the scheme, asking for a local lettings policy to ensure the homes helped locals, there have been objections.

Those against the plans said it would mean not only the loss of the homes but also the loss of the existing community of elderly and vulnerable people.

And nearby residents said replacing the bungalows with two-storey properties would affect their privacy and mean many more cars on the residential roads.

"Gobowen does not need more dwellings like this," one objector wrote.

The estate will be a mix of two- and three-bedroom demi-detached houses along with 12 one-bedroom flats.

Ms Darke said: "Concerns have been raised concerning the impact the scheme would have on the existing occupants, a number which are elderly and the community that has been created on the existing site. This is noted, however it has been demonstrated that the existing buildings are no longer suitable and do not provide an adequate standard of accommodation for the residents.

"There will inevitably be disruption during the course of the development and this will be a matter for the applicant as the registered social landlord to ensure that residents are provided with suitable alternative accommodation. Long-term the proposed development will provide a much higher standard of accommodation with increased energy efficiency."

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