Anger as developer changes Portishead retirement complex proposal to sell flats on open market

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2019

Marina Gardens development in Portishead.

Marina Gardens development in Portishead.

Copyright (2016) F10 Studios Ltd, all rights reserved

'Shameful' plans to change a Portishead retirement development to open-market housing have been revealed.

Pegasus Life unveiled proposals to change the use of its recently-completed Marina Gardens project, in Martingale Way, at Portishead Town Council's meeting on September 11.

The developer completed construction of the 126-home complex - intended for 'assisted living' for elderly people - over the summer, but has decided its plans 'won't work financially'.

Instead, it will submit an application to North Somerset Council to remove the age restriction to allow the properties to be sold on the open market.

An additional apartment will be created as a result, while 38 will be earmarked for affordable housing schemes.

Emma Webster, Pegasus Life's head of corporate affairs, said: "As we headed towards the final stages of the development, one of the things we have discovered is quite a lot has gone on.

"In the intervening period (since the application), there have been a number of developments built in North Somerset to address the requirement (for assisted living homes).

"We have taken the decision the application we secured consent for won't work financially."

The developer plans to increase parking capacity from 96 to 127 and Ms Webster believes the homes will offer a better 'quality of life' for owners.

She also told councillors the firm sees a need for 'this type of accommodation in Portishead', and will not be 'importing people into the area'.

The plans were met with anger from members of the public.

Portishead resident Ken Smith, after hearing Pegasus Life's presentation, described the development as the 'worst building in Portishead'.

He continued: "I could probably live with it if you were going to look after old people, but you've realised you're not selling them and you need to make more money by selling to any Tom, Dick and Harry.

"I think you should be ashamed of yourselves."

Jonathan Mock labelled the building 'horrific' in public participation.

"It has all the charm of something from the communist bloc in terms of architecture," he added.

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