Retirement complex proposals encounter a sticky situation

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd has submitted a planning application for a retirement complex of 101 apartments and four bungalows

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd has submitted a planning application for a retirement complex of 101 apartments and four bungalows on land adjacent to the Hain Daniels factory. - Credit: McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles

Plans have been proposed for a new “retirement village” in Histon – although the developer may need to do something about the smell from the nearby jam and sweet spread factory. 

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd has submitted a planning application for a retirement complex of 101 apartments and four bungalows on land adjacent to the Hain Daniels factory. 

The development would be three storeys at its highest point, with a collection of “quads and chalets” across the site. 

One potential sticking point is the close proximity to the industrial manufacturing of jam and other sweet spreads. 

The planning application highlights the potential impact of the smell coming from an anaerobic digestion plant treating process effluents from the Hain Daniels factory, which manufactures sweet spreads such as jams, marmalades and honey. 


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According to an odour assessment report, modelling found that the site of the proposed retirement village “would not [be] suitable for residential development under the current operations”.  

But it added that “the absence of a history of complaint from existing receptors suggests the model may be conservative, and/or the existing residents may have developed a degree of tolerance”. 

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Either the emission rate modelled for the assessment is an over estimate, the report said, or “local residents have become tolerant of some odours and accept them as part and parcel of the area”. 

The odour assessment report found that, based on the predicted odour impacts of the current operation on the site, “it is evident that some abatement of the odour sources is required for the area to be suitable for residential development”. 

But the report also found that the smell can be reduced. The assessment concluded that if a suitable odour abatement plant and other modifications are implemented, “the facility should not result in a significant adverse effect on the proposed development” or existing residents. 

The proposed site for the retirement village is currently a “vacant and underused area of land surplus to the neighbouring factory’s requirements,” which appears to contain a car park as well as a generally “overgrown” area with trees and shrubbery.  The development will incorporate a mix of care and retirement apartments. 

Artist's impression of the proposed retirement complex at Histon

Artist's impression of the proposed retirement complex at Histon - Credit: McCarthy & Stone

McCarthy & Stone describes itself as “Britain’s leading provider of retirement accommodation” and says it has “pioneered the idea that people want and deserve high quality residential property that is designed and built with their needs in mind”. 

The application says: “The overall aim is to deliver a sustainable, integrated retirement community that will meet the care and accommodation needs of the ageing local population”. 

It adds: “We believe that this site and the proposed retirement development represent a unique opportunity to provide much needed retirement living in the Histon-Impington village area. 

“Health and well-being are the focus of these proposals, both in the creation of a retirement community that encourages a range of care options and a mixed community that positively engages with Histon-Impington village, and extensive landscaped areas that provide opportunities for leisure and connections with nature.” 

The development would provide 64 parking spaces, with the main access to the proposed site would be off Home Close. A new stop on the guided busway is also proposed. 

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