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Retirement home plans unveiled for site of former social club

PUBLISHED: 10:24 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:35 15 July 2019

Demolition work under way at the site of the former Apollo club in Harleston ending hopes it could be turned into a community church. Picture: Simon Parkin

Demolition work under way at the site of the former Apollo club in Harleston ending hopes it could be turned into a community church. Picture: Simon Parkin

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Plans have been unveiled for retirement homes on the site of a former social club in Harleston that was the subject of bid to turn it into a community church.

McCarthy and Stone is to hold a public consultation event over its plans for retirement homes on the site of the former Apollo club in Hasrleston. Picture: McCarthy and StoneMcCarthy and Stone is to hold a public consultation event over its plans for retirement homes on the site of the former Apollo club in Hasrleston. Picture: McCarthy and Stone

Initial plans from developers McCarthy & Stone propose building 46 retirement living apartments and bungalows, as well as landscaped gardens and on-site car parking, on the land off Mendham Lane.

The site was formerly home to the Apollo Club, which for 30 years hosted social events including wedding receptions, christening celebrations, wakes and parties, as well as some of the world's top darts and snooker players for tournaments, before it closed on New Year's Eve 2016.

Hope Church, based in Diss but which holds weekly meetings in Harleston, had wanted to buy the former club to turn it into a permanent home in the town.

The Apollo Club at Harleston was at the heart of the community for 30 years until it closed in 2016. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Apollo Club at Harleston was at the heart of the community for 30 years until it closed in 2016. Picture: Denise Bradley

But a petition and church appeal to raise the asking price of £380,000 failed to realise their dream of a community church and the former function venue was demolished in May.

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McCarthy and Stone, which is the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities, recently acquired an interest in the site and are currently drawing up plans for its redevelopment.

The company is set to hold a public exhibition to display the proposals to the wider public, before submitting a detailed planning application to South Norfolk Council.

The event at Harleston Community Leisure Facility in Wilderness Lane on July 24, between 3pm and 7pm, will be an opportunity for the local community to view the initial proposals, speak with the project team and give their feedback.

Matt Wills, regional managing director of McCarthy and Stone, said: "We look forward to speaking with members of the local community about our emerging plans for this under-utilised, brownfield site.

"The site is ideally located close to the town centre, and our plans would assist in meeting a growing need for housing for older people in Harleston.

"Our emerging proposals, which include specialist retirement apartments and bungalows, have been carefully designed to respect and complement the local context and neighbouring properties, while delivering a range of wider benefits for the town."

- Find out more about the Harleston project and give feedback at McCarthy and Stone

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