A NEW flats development in Mossley is taking in people of all ages, even though it was billed as ‘retirement living.’
Concerns were raised after younger people were spotted living on the Nield Street site, which was originally marketed as accommodation for the over 55s.
Now The Correspondent has discovered they are being offered by Jigsaw Homes Group to anyone after a lack of demand among the desired age range.
And there is no breach of planning conditions arising from the change.
At a meeting of Tameside Council’s Speakers Panel (Planning) committee in 2021, planning officer Steven Kirkham highlighted the benefits to older people.
He said: “There is a proven need to meet demand for accommodation for the ageing population, and current demand is outstripping supply.
“The population of Tameside over the age of 65 is set to increase by 40 per cent up to 2035, so this proposal will help meet this growing demand.
“The comprehensive redevelopment of the site would address current environmental issues, investment and regeneration presents an opportunity to secure positive legacy for the site and neighbouring uses alike.”
Speaking on behalf of Jigsaw Homes, Philip Millson from the Millson Group said: “Because Jigsaw will manage this development which will be completely 100 per cent affordable rent, and because they will control the tenants they can manage the type of tenant that goes in and in particular whether they are car users.
“This is a substantial investment by Jigsaw on a complicated site.
“It’s removing what was described by one supporter as a ‘dog toilet’, removing areas of antisocial behaviour, creating highly efficient, affordable homes.
“It will free up family housing elsewhere in Mossley.”
As part of the approval, Jigsaw will also pay financial contributions through a Section 106 agreement of £19,587 towards green space and £26,036 towards highways.
The money for green spaces would be allocated to Mossley Park and highways monies would resurface Nield Street and provide cycling and walking improvements and initiatives in the local area.
But now the 31 properties have been constructed, the retirement aspect of the development, which had opposition from people living nearby, has been dropped.
A spokesperson for Jigsaw Homes Group said: “As demand was not sufficient for a development solely for those aged over 55, it was widened to include people of all ages, providing affordable homes to help meet the local housing need.
“The development was open on an affordable rental basis via the council’s lettings process to those over 55 if they wished to apply but was not exclusively for this age group.”
A Tameside Council spokesperson added: “Planning permission was granted for Jigsaw Homes, a registered housing provider, to develop 31 single-bedroom apartments at Nield Street, Mossley, to provide affordable accommodation for Tameside residents.
“We’re satisfied that there’s been no breach of planning permission and that the development is providing affordable accommodation on a brownfield site in the centre of Mossley, access to which has also benefitted from upgraded and resurfaced highways.”