Plans for new elderly centre in Bishop's Waltham progressing

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A STATE-of-the-art facility for the elderly in Bishop’s Waltham has moved a step closer.

Age Concern Hampshire plans to move to a new building on land by the parish council’s offices at Jubilee Hall.

One half of the building will serve as a day care centre for the elderly, including dementia services, while the other part of the building will serve as a wellbeing centre, creating around 10 new jobs.

Those plans have progressed now, with Kenn Scaddon informing the parish council this week that they have now submitted a formal planning application to Winchester City Council.

Rick Smith, director of Age Concern Hampshire, said: “Every way I think about this, it’s a positive thing — for Bishop’s Waltham residents who need the services but can’t travel far, and for the segment of the population who will benefit from the jobs.”

The site will be built by the Bishop’s Waltham Educational Institute, which awards grants ‘in the interests of social welfare and education’ in the area.

Age Concern will rent it from the institute, which in turn will rent the land from the parish at a peppercorn rent.

The charity’s nearest facility is at Swanmore Village Hall, and that will continue to operate.

The parish council is hopeful the move will ease some of its parking problems as the new facility would add around 60 spaces to the current car park, bringing the total to 140.

The estimated cost of the car park would be around £100,000, plus a grant towards it of £30,000 would come from the city.

Public car parks are generally the responsibility of the city council, but the parish is in negotiations to manage the spaces itself and keep the revenue.

Parish councillor Terry Wilson said at a recent parish meeting: “We have contributed the land so I don’t see why the city council should get the benefit of the land we give up. Why should we give up the land for nothing?”

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