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Local Residents Support Plans For Hagley Road Retirement Village

22 June 2010

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust reports 100% support amongst local residents who attended a survey to discuss recently submitted planning proposals for a £40m retirement village on Hagley Road in Harborne.

Impression

The survey was part of a consultation week linked to the Charity's planning application for a 236-home affordable retirement village which could be developed between 222 - 236 Hagley Road, replacing a number of disused buildings which have been derelict for nearly 14 years.

All 120-plus local Birmingham residents who took part in the survey at the City's Botantical Gardens believed the site's existing buildings should make way for the village development.  97% of respondents also stated that the village development option was preferable to the construction of office buildings, housing, a retail development or a food outlet.

As part of the community-wide consultation process, ExtraCare delivered newsletters to 14,000 local households and invited people to view and comment on plans which were displayed at Birmingham's Chamber of Commerce.

The Charity also arranged visits to its newly-opened New Oscott Village.  Tour groups were able to meet residents and view the scheme's 18 health and leisure facilities which are similar to those proposed as part of the Hagley Road development.

Jill Pyatt (74), a retired maternity ward clerk, is widowed and lives alone in the Harborne area.  Following her trip to New Oscott Village, she commented:  "I was most impressed with the concept and layout.  A village would be an excellent use of the Hagley Road site which is now in a shocking state.  It would greatly improve the area and provide local employment."

Richard (63) and Gisella (69) Bate (pictured), from Bournville, attended the survey.  Both are wheelchair users, Richard after he became paraplegic following a motorbike accident and Gisela after she contracted polio.

Richard, a former sub-editor, comments:  "At the moment we are pretty isolated and would welcome the chance to do more and meet new friends.  The village is a fantastic idea, it would open up a whole new life for us.  The Hagley site looks awful at the moment so I can't understand anyone objecting to this new scheme."

ExtraCare Development Director Mark Curran comments:  "The consultation week has significantly increased interest in our proposals; already we have received 150 letters in support of our planning application.

"The village would provide affordable homes for local older people whilst providing a social and active facility that could be shared and enjoyed by the community.  The architect's plans show that the village's façade would reflect the style and character of the local neighbourhood, providing an impressive gateway for those travelling to and from the City centre.  Only 30% of the seven-acre site would be developed leaving the remaining land as green space with the majority of trees retained."

If planning is passed, construction of the village could begin by Spring 2011 for opening in 2013. The village would provide up to 80 full time jobs and a further 200 construction jobs during its development.