Plans have been submitted to a local authority to build a four-storey retirement complex on a former bowling green.
Retirement housing firm McCarthy Stone is proposing the development at Gravesend Rugby Football Club’s (GRFC) former bowls club, which closed in 2020.
It plans to demolish the existing bowls pavilion, in Church Walk, to make way for a four-storey building with 62 “extra care” flats.
The planning statement submitted to Gravesham council said the “extra care” concept enables residents to buy care packages to suit their needs which can change over time.
According to the document, the complex will have 33 one-bedroom and 29 two-bedroom units with a bathroom and kitchen for people over 70.
Communal areas would include a lounge, reception, office, bistro and kitchen, laundry, function space, mobility store and a garden.
It also proposes new access for vehicles from Ellerslie, 32 parking spaces, and 24 hour on-site staff.
Developers McCarthy Stone held a public consultation last year and said half of the feedback was positive with a quarter of responses objecting to the proposals.
The design and access statement submitted to the council stated concerns were raised over the location as it will be near a main road.
It also said one resident was “disappointed at the loss of the bowls club” and some felt the development would create a dangerous corner off Ellerslie.
Divisional managing director at McCarthy Stone London and South East, Andrew Wicket, said: “Our proposals for Gravesend will help to address a demand for retirement accommodation in the area, providing housing choice for older people, whilst freeing up the wider housing market for local families and first-time buyers further down the chain.
“Research shows that every McCarthy Stone apartment sold generates at least two moves further down the housing chain.
“This means a 62-unit scheme in Gravesend, would likely free up 124 homes for local people at differing stages of the housing ladder.
“There is a real need for specialist retirement accommodation in Gravesend, and this proposal will go some way to addressing that, whilst at the same time releasing existing family homes onto the market and relieving the pressure of local green belt release.”
The rugby club took the decision to shut the bowling green following discussions with the landowners over financial struggles.
It caused a dispute between members who, at the time, said they felt “stabbed in the back” and disappointed over the way they had been treated.
According to the retirement firm, the sale will allow the rugby club to invest money into new floodlighting, drainage and levelling the pitches to increase the number of matches played.
You can view the planning application here and can find further information on the project’s website or by contacting 0800 298 7040.
A decision is expected on the application submitted to the council by March 20.