Wiganers have reacted with a mix of concern and enthusiasm after plans for a huge retirement village were revealed.
Plans for "sensitively-designed apartments for older people" in Standish were announced last week, which would comprise almost 100 new apartments off High Street.
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But the project could see popular fine-foods emporium Chadwick’s disappear from the town, should the project go ahead.
The scheme, developed by McCarthy and Stone, will comprise of around 31 retirement apartments and 61 extra care apartments, specifically designed to support homeowners to live an active life while maintaining their independence.
The completed development will also feature on-site car parking and professionally landscaped gardens.
Retirement Living developments include communal facilities such as a homeowners’ lounge, guest suite and lift access to all floors.
The extra care accommodation provides additional facilities to meet the needs of residents in later life, such as the availability of 24-hour care provision, on-site restaurant and a laundry room.
The news was met with a mixture of enthusiasm, concern and also sadness at the impending loss of an historic and much-loved family firm.
Neil Robinson wrote: “I think this is great. McCarthy & Stone have a great reputation, and are the only major developer to focus on homes for retired people. This wouldn’t just be ‘another block of flats’, but a real addition to our community.”
Emma Whitter, however, said: “That would cause trauma to the high street. More cars and people trying to visit and park. Ridiculous.”
Craig Redfern said: “I don’t think you can deny that the shop and restaurant are a real asset to the community.
“We moved into Standish last November and we love the place, it’s a great source for locally produced food and drink.”
John Chadwick, managing director of Noel Chadwick, said: “Generations of Chadwicks have served the Standish community since 1761 and we have been extremely proud to be part of the community.
“However, we feel the time has come to start a new chapter in our life, and are currently exploring the possibility of other sites in the area.
“We are pleased to be working with McCarthy and Stone to take forward this site into the future.”
The community is invited to view McCarthy and Stone’s plans for the site at a public exhibition on Tuesday, November 20 between 3pm and 7pm at the Britannia Hotel.
Ian Wilkins, divisional managing director for McCarthy and Stone, said: “I would encourage all local representatives and residents to attend the exhibition.
“We value the opinions of the local community and welcome all feedback.
It is not yet clear if the Chadwick's move is dependent on the plans being approved, or whether they will move regardless.
Standish independent councillor George Fairhurst said that while the idea of a retirement village was a good one, he expressed concern at the scale of the project.
He said: “Ninety-one homes seems to be a lot.
“Even though they are retirement homes and they won’t all have cars, we’ll still be in a bit of trouble because traffic is ridiculous as it is. That’s my only concern.
“But I am going to keep an open mind. I am going to view the plans, and have a proper look.”