Retirement plan for old NHS HQ

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A REDUNDANT NHS building could be given a new lease of life as a retirement home should plans be given council approval.

McCarthy and Stone bought Thingoe House in Bury St Edmunds from NHS Suffolk last summer for £1.4 million.

Now, the Northgate Street site could be converted into 58 bedrooms, providing assisted living accommodation for the elderly and frail.

The scheme, which will comprise of one and two bed units, has already been welcomed under a public consultation and a full planning application is expected to be submitted later this month.

The project is being put forward by Your Life Management Service, which is a joint venture of McCarthy and Stone and Somerset Care Group.

“The apartments would be specifically designed to meet the needs of older people. The proposal would also include the retention and repair of Thingoe House, which would be included as part of the development,” said a company statement.

“Initial proposals were shown to the site’s immediate neighbours in December 2010. The feedback received was positive, with many residents pleased to see the site utilised with a more sympathetic use through the prpvision of assisted living acccommodation more appropriate to its surrounding area and a feeling that the development would improve the neighbouring amenity.”

It said there were some concerns raised about overshadowing and overlooking which it hoped had since been addressed through redesigns and proposals for enhanced landscaping.

Thingoe House, which dates back to the 19th century, was used as council offices before becoming the headquarters of the West Suffolk Primary Care Trust. It became surplus to use five years ago following the creation of NHS Suffolk.