“Doctors are objecting to plans for a retirement village in Torbay because of the pressure extra elderly residents will add to local health and care services “already close to breaking point.”
English Care Villages has submitted plans to Torbay Council for a 159-home “continuing care retirement community” at Sladnor Park, a former holiday park near the village of Maidencombe on the coast between Torquay and Shaldon.
Maidencombe Residents Association says the apartments would be too expensive for locals and the isolated site two and a half miles from the nearest urban centre at St Marychurch would bring in outsiders who would increase pressure on health and care services.
Objections to the plan include one from Torquay GP, Dr Roger Fearnley, who warned health services were already “close to breaking point” and said the Sladnor park development would attract people retiring from outside the local area.
He said in a comment on the planning application: “This influx of people would put significant further strains on health and social care services which are already close to breaking point.
“I am not aware of any meaningful conversations between the developers and local GP practices. There seems to be the assumption ‘we will cope.’ We may not.”
Retired GP Dr Vivienne Thorn, who lives at Maidencombe, objected to the plan mainly because of its impact on local care services, and also questioned whether its isolated site could turn it into a “rich person’s ghetto”. She said the impact on health and social care had not been properly assessed.
Dr Thorn wrote: “An additional 200 elderly people will place an intolerable strain on GP and Community services.”
Richard Whistance, of Sladnor Park Road, near the development site, said approving the scheme would ruin the natural environment of the land and open the door to developing other countryside areas. He said it would affect rare wildlife including legally protected bats, slow worms, badgers, cirl buntings and nesting buzzards.
He said: “This is not to be ignored; especially in these times of rapacious development and ecological destruction, Sladnor Park needs preserving as countryside.” …”