A NEW apartment complex for elderly people with care needs could help free up family homes - a meeting has been told.

Bradford Council has approved plans to demolish the Hare and Hounds family pub and Wacky Warehouse off Bradford Road in Menston, and replace it with a four storey building containing 71 one, two and three bed apartments with on-site care.

The application, by Congleton-based company Adlington, was discussed by the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee yesterday where members voted to approve the plans.

There had been eight objections to the scheme, criticising the parking levels and the height of the building, and Menston Parish Council had also raised concerns.

The company, which also run a similar home in Otley, told members the development would allow older people in the area with care needs to move from their larger homes to more suitable accommodation. It would allow them to maintain their independence but still access care they needed.

An agent for the company told the committee that Menston was the “ideal location” for the development. They added: “Many residents of Menston will wish to move to the flats, freeing up three bedroom homes with large gardens for families. This will also reduce the need to build family homes on Green Belt sites in Bradford.”

Some councillors raised concerns about parking at the site, questioning whether the 42 spaces proposed would be enough for the residents.

But highways officers said a development like this would normally require much fewer spaces than a regular residential development, as many of the people living there would be elderly and unlikely to drive.

John Eyles, Major development manager for the Council, said: “This is a big company so they will be making commercial decisions when it comes to this parking. They wouldn’t promote a scheme they know won’t work. If they don’t have enough spaces for staff, then they won’t get staff.

“If this was a first time business then we might raise concerns but they have experience.”

Highways officer John Rowley said the pub creates 443 traffic movements a day, while the new development would create just 105 trips a day.

Councillor Simon Cooke (Cons, Bingley Rural) said: “The loss of a pub is never good, but I think this is a welcome development.

“We don’t have nearly enough provision of this sort for people in the district. As the applicant has made clear, it will lead to older people moving out of larger properties into more suitable accommodation, which is a benefit to the local housing market.”

He dismissed concerns about there not being enough parking, saying when he has visited a relative in a similar scheme in Leeds, the car park was “never busy.”

The committee then unanimously voted to approve the plans.