by Hayley Robinson
Controversial plans for a £7m complex for elderly people in Milton Regis have been given the go-ahead.
It means Wyllie Court, off Attlee Way, will be replaced with a state-of-the-art building by social housing provider AmicusHorizon.
It will feature 51 one and two bedroom apartments, a cafe, hair dressing salon, activity rooms, lounge and bar and a reception area.
Demolition of the previous building has already started.
The project is due to be completed by summer 2014. People living in the area objected to the development, which will front North Street, claiming it will out of keeping with the area.
Other fears included loss of privacy, that it would be an eyesore and a suggestion that it is not suitable accommodation for elderly people from Milton Regis because it will be too expensive.
Swale council received two petitions totalling more than 100 signatures against the complex.
Nearby property owner Bill Francis was one of those worried about the proposed development and the effect it would have on existing residents.
He claimed he and his neighbours were already suffering from increased traffic noise after a boundary fence was put up.
But the council’s major projects officer, Jim Wilson, recommended the scheme be given the go-ahead when the committee discussed the matter.
In his report he argued the development would not be “overly dominant” or “out of scale” and could become a “landmark” building which would improve the area.
He wrote: “It should be stressed that this is an important, high-profile site and as such any development permitted on it must be capable of performing the role of a ‘landmark’ building.
“This, by definition, requires a building of good design in order to ensure that the proposal brings about an appropriate improvement to the area.”
Members deferred the decision and called for a site meeting last month. Following the visit the application was passed by the committee when it met at Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, last Thursday.
An AmicusHorizon spokesman said the association was delighted with the news.
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.