Boost for Southam as Extra Care Scheme Gains Consent

Southam, Warwickshire, will gain a new larger library, new community facilities and 75 extra care homes as part of a multi-million pound investment.

Brooke Smith Planning advised Orbit Homes on the scheme, which won unanimous approval recently from Stratford-on-Avon District Council and is expected to revitalise the centre of the Warwickshire town.

The scheme, which was submitted last year following extensive public consultation, won praise from local Town and District Councillors for its thoroughness, given its size and its position in the heart of the town.

The depth of public consultation was as comprehensive as the Company have ever undertaken with numerous meetings held to ensure that everyone with an opinion had their chance to express their views, informing the application and the schemes design. Meetings with relevant stakeholders were undertaken whilst two public drop-in sessions were held in addition to creating a dedicated webpage for the scheme. The fact that there were fewer than a dozen comments on a scheme of this scale shows that the message about the benefits it will bring really came home.

At the Planning Committee, Ward Councillor Jennie Ellard said it was exciting to support the ‘once in a lifetime’ application and described it as a great example of joint working between a developer, Councillors and residents.

The plans involve the demolition of Victor Hodges House – an empty former care home, Southam Library, No 2 Park Lane and No 7 High Street. The scheme will provide 75-unit extra care housing units together with associated facilities (including a restaurant, seating areas, private gardens, a games/activity room and a cinema room), a replacement public library and new community floorspace.

The development is a venture between Orbit and other parities / land owners including Warwickshire County Council and Southam Town Council.