PLANS for a retirement village which could create "140 jobs for the community" have been given the green light.

A planning application was approved by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to build a 40-bed care home, 42 care suites and 91 close care apartments at land in Park Farm, North Stoneham Park, Eastleigh.

The plans, submitted by Cinnamon Retirement Living and Highwood Homes, went before TVBC's Southern Area Planning Committee last night where they were unanimously approved by councillors.

The plans will now see 142 car parking spaces created across the site, including a restaurant and kitchen, gym, swimming pool, as well as a sauna and jacuzzi.

During the meeting, councillors expressed the need for this development, however one community leader raised concerns over the risk of flooding.

Conservative councillor Phil Bundy said: "Fundamentally I support this application because there is clearly a need for this type of development.

"I hope [the planning manager for Highwood Homes] Mr Bray is correct and we can include the 91 dwellings within the five year housing land supply figure, because that is quite significant."

Liberal Democrat councillor Alan Dowden said: "I have listened to the debate fully and quite frankly, as it has been mentioned by councillor Bundy, there is a necessity for this development.

"I have no problems with this application."

Conservative councillor Alison Finlay stressed her concerns on flooding, due to there being a lake west of the development.

She said: "The officer's report states 'the local planning authority doesn't currently have data to suggest this a matter of consideration with this application.

"'Furthermore, the lake is well-managed and risk of failure and flooding is considered to be low', but that is just the view without the Environment Agency who have not yet confirmed they are happy with this.

"I would like to know what the Environment Agency thinks about the possibility of flooding on the site, because that is my main concern about the application."

Highwood Homes planning manager, Jon Bray, said: "In line with the national trend, the population within Eastleigh and Test Valley is ageing.

"Meeting the demand for care provision of the nature and quality of the Stoneham Care Village is critical and will undoubtedly contribute to meeting the full range of local housing needs into the future.

"This is the key final element in the Park’s community that will now cater for the very young, who will be accommodated in the local centre’s new nursery and school facilities, to the elderly. 

"The development will also deliver a raft of social, economic and environmental benefits – as well as enhancing the neglected former Coach House and Listed wall areas, a fabulous new woodland walk and arboretum will be established as part of an extensive landscaping strategy."

He added: "The local economy will also benefit through increased local spend from the Park’s growing community and, of course, the creation of some 140 jobs that will come as a welcome boost for the area."

Ad previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, the plans were also given the green light from the Eastleigh Local Area Committee on June 9, due to the site sitting on the border of Eastleigh and Test Valley.