THE construction of a major retirement housing development on Andover’s Chantry Way has been given the go-ahead by Test Valley Borough Council.

Churchill Retirement Living has been granted planning permission to build a retirement housing development comprising 65 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The development will also include seven ground-floor commercial units to provide use for retailers, cafes and as offices.

The previous application from Churchill Retirement Living for an eight-storey development with 96 apartments was criticised by councillors. However, the new plan, which has seen it reduced to six storeys was praised and will not encroach on views of St Mary’s Church.

Andrew Burgess, director of Churchill Retirement Living, said: “The construction will get under way soon, with first occupations anticipated in the summer of 2015.

“There is a massive need for private sheltered housing in the Test Valley area and at present there are only 181 retirement apartments built for sale in the private sector.”

Simon McFarlane, of Planning Issues Ltd, representing Churchill Retirement Living, said: “This is a considered, successful and suitable development for the town and a high quality housing scheme.”

See the full story in today's paper.