CONSTRUCTION work on the redevelopment of Wimborne Market into a ‘care village’ could be just months away following planning approval.

McCarthy Stone’s major scheme for the site in Station Terrace includes 67 apartments, 26 bungalows, six chalet bungalows, all of which are age restricted for older people, a wellness centre and nine open-market houses.

The application went before a special meeting of Dorset Council’s eastern area planning committee last week, with members deciding to approve the scheme in line with the recommendation put forward by a planning officer.

Shane Paull, divisional development director for McCarthy Stone Southern, said: “We are delighted that members voted in line with the officer’s recommendation for the approval of our proposals for Wimborne.

“Our proposed urban retirement village would be the first of its kind for McCarthy Stone, and we are proud to have an opportunity to be able to deliver this in Dorset, the home of our head office for the past 40 years.”

The scheme also includes parking provision, highway improvements and a pedestrian link.

A spokesperson for McCarthy Stone said construction of the project is set to begin in early 2022.

A previous application for the two hectare site was turned down in summer 2020, with concerns raised over a number of details.

The developer put forward a revised proposal, which reduced the height of some buildings and moved others to create a lower profile when compared to surrounding buildings.

The approved application had drawn three resident objections and three letters of support. Those in favour said it was a good use of the site and housing for older people was needed, while opponents had concerns about the loss of the market and highways safety fears.

Wimborne Town Council raised a number of issues that the authority felt needed to be addressed, while Colehill Parish Council formally objected on grounds the access, egress and traffic movements were inappropriate and parking issues would impact on the surrounding area.

McCarthy Stone must provide contributions of £1,066,219 towards affordable housing and £111,164 towards heathland mitigation.