PROPOSALS to build a 90-home extra care development as part of the 925-home Sowerby Gateway estate have been unveiled.

Hartlepool-based Vela housing group and construction firm GallifordTry, which last week announced an annual revenue of £1.5bn, have outlined proposals for 64 extra care apartments in a three-storey building surrounded by 26 bungalows on a site off the Topcliffe Road.

The development will include four retail units, as well as a café and bistro, “to help create as independent a living experience as possible” for its residents.

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Extra care housing seeks to offer residents who want accessible care and support at hand 24 hours a day the choice of living in their own homes.

North Yorkshire County Council is working with developers to complete 44 extra care housing schemes by 2020 to replace elderly persons' homes and to cut the number of people being placed into residential and nursing care.

The proposals follow work starting on the first phase of the controversial Sowerby Gateway scheme, which will see 107 houses and 4,400sq metres of commercial buildings, including 15 incubator units off Topcliffe Road, built.

Colin Wilson, group director of development at Vela Group, said it had identified a strong need in the Sowerby area for extra care properties to support independent living.

At a public consultation event to display the plans at Rural Arts in Thirsk residents expressed concerns over the amount of traffic the development would create on the Topcliffe Road.

Mr Wilson said: “The consultation has been well attended by local residents and we found the discussions largely supportive and informative of local views, which will help us shape the proposals before they go for planning approval.”

Sowerby ward county councillor Robert Baker said he had not seen the blueprints, but supported the principle of creating an additional extra care facility in the village.

He said: “It will help to fill a need and look after the rising number of elderly people in the area.”

Developers of the Meadowfields extra care scheme, on the opposite side of the village, on the former Cherry Garth residential home site in Chapel Street, say it is on target to complete the first phase of building by February.