A PLANNING application for the development for a block of 14 apartments to be built in Christchurch has received a lot of resistance, with residents angered by the lack of notice they have been given about it due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The application, made by Fortitudo Limited, includes the demolition of a single-family chalet bungalow at 20 Chewton Farm Road, which will be replaced by a series of affordable luxury apartments.

The application has caused a stir amongst residents, with many saying its is out of keeping to the area and some saying that its timely submission during the current lockdown means that advantage is being taken of the lockdown to see if the application could proceed unopposed.

Fortitudo’s chief executive, Richard Carr, said: “The application is for a set of luxury apartments catering for the elderly population looking to downsize from their current property and retire in the area.

“There are several blocks of flats that are not on that road but in the immediate area. Some of those apartments have been built within the last 10 to 15 years so I do not see how that can be out of keeping with the area.

“Across the country there is a massive shortage of affordable housing. People who want to stay in the area they are and wish to downsize are unable to do so as there isn’t that option available.

“These people are forced to stay in the houses they currently occupy, meaning that family homes are being inhabited by one or two residents.”

The application is still under consideration but has been challenged by Walkford residents, with 17 objections filed on Sunday and Monday, and more expected to be filed before the cut-ff on April 31.

Residents have said that, because of the current lockdown, they have not seen signs or received letters on the proposed development.

Peter Watson-Lee, who lives two doors down from the development, said: “It is an outrageous application. If you go on Google Maps or drive down the street, you will see that it is all single occupancy housing here

“The planning policy for this area states that this is an area worthy of protection and aims to protect the area from developments such as this. The fear is now that he will keep going for years and years until he gets a positive result

“We do need mixed housing in the area but there are already a lot of developments in Christchurch going ahead and there will be affordable housing in all of them

“With the BCP saying that due to Covid-19 they are unlikely to accept letters and objections must be by internet, there is a fear that a number of the elderly residents who will be effected might be unable to see the application or put in their objections.”