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McCarthy Stone plans retirement home for land near Preston Hall in Aylesford

Retirement homes developer McCarthy Stone has revealed plans for another elderly living complex.

The company is targeting a site at the Royal British Legion Village off St Andrew’s Close, near Preston Hall in Aylesford.

The red line indicates the outline of the proposed development.
The red line indicates the outline of the proposed development.

The plot is just north of the A20 London Road, close to the junction with Hermitage Lane.

No formal planning application has yet been made but the company said it was considering a complex of 50 homes, with 25 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom flats.

There would be communal areas and landscaped gardens.

The site is currently parkland that historically formed part of the Preston Hall estate. It is bordered by trees, some of which would have to be felled.

The company said: “We design our schemes to express an individual character of their own to meet the needs of our residents and reflect the surrounding area.

McCarthy and Stone's initial suggested layout for St Andrew's Close
McCarthy and Stone's initial suggested layout for St Andrew's Close

“The building has been carefully positioned to retain as many of the existing trees as possible, this will not only protect the existing landscape of the site but will also help to screen the building from London Road.

“The trees that form a planned ‘avenue’ along the access to Preston Hall will be retained and the site building will be located as far as possible from the avenue of trees in order to respect the local landscape and setting of Grade II-listed Preston Hall.”

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Details can be viewed on McCarthy Stone’s website.

The scheme has not pleased resident Keith Taylor, who said: “This is a natural area of beauty and wildlife diversity will be lost.

The parkland off St Andrew’s Close in Aylesford
The parkland off St Andrew’s Close in Aylesford

“Some of the trees are hundreds of years old combatting CO2 emissions by creating oxygen. It’s a wonderful area where many people exercise their dogs.”

Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said: “The McCarthy Stone proposals are completely inappropriate for this tiny pocket of land.

“There is no consideration for the impact such a large residential home would have on the local infrastructure and no consideration has been given to access, car parking, healthcare, and the environment.

“The representatives had no answer to any of my questions and weren’t exactly clear as to what the purpose of their building is – one minute it was for the active over 65s but without car parking for them to be active, followed by it being more likely to be for the over 75s but without healthcare provision.

“The units themselves are tiny; the community area was miniscule and the proposed cost of each unit was eyewatering. Based on the conversation with the reps, I made it clear I certainly wouldn’t want my mum to live there. It goes without saying that in the event of a formal application, I will be objecting in the strongest possible terms.”

Tracey Crouch: I shall be objecting
Tracey Crouch: I shall be objecting

The site is just a few hundred yards from the Coldhabour Roundabout which is undergoing a £5m revamp.

The work caused outrage when mature trees were felled to make way for the new road layout.

Meanwhile, McCarthy Stone recently had plans approved for a 62-flat complex on a former bowls club in Gravesend.

The proposals had been branded “scandalous” by people living nearby.

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