Retirement village creating up to 185 jobs set to transform Soham Lodge
It began life as a roadside motel but seven years after its conversion to a care home could become the centre piece of Cambridgeshire's first retirement village.
Up to 185 jobs are projected if planners give permission for developing Soham Lodge on the A142.
Ninety flats will form the form a retirement/care village south of the care home with residents able to 'buy in' services such as food and cleaning from a central hub.
There will be an activities suite, café, gym and even a small shop, say the applicants.
The ambitious proposals also include a two-storey, 35 bed extension to the care home, a two-storey extra care unit with 15 flats and 15 bedsits for staff.
And the application includes an estate of 37 homes with buyers able to access communal facilities within the retirement/care village.
"The scheme will be an open, attractive and well landscaped development," says a planning statement submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council.
"If residents get to the stage where they are not capable of independent living, they may be able to transfer to one of the extra care units and then the care centre when full-time care is needed.
"This can be attractive to many elderly people as it means that they can continue living within the same complex and close to their friends' without having to be transferred to other facilities."
The care centre will also include a number of short-term care beds, which could "assist local hospitals and reduce bed blocking".
An application for outline planning permission was submitted by DCSL Ltd who runs Soham Lodge.
The development will form part of the Soham Eastern Gateway which would see 500 homes and community facilities built in the town.
DCSL say their scheme has won in principle support from the county council as it could "support the costly and valuable upgrades to care capacity in the local area".
Soham Care Lodge opened in 2012 and is built on the site of a former motel that was hit by vandals after shutting in 2008.
A year ago Soham Care Lodge, which looks after 34 residents and employs 60 staff, was warned to urgently improve following a Care Quality Commission inspection.