A battle has been won to turn a 60-bed hotel in the New Forest into retirement apartments.
Developer PegasusLife has won an appeal over a decision by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) to block the conversion of the former Watersplash Hotel in Brockenhurst, the Bournemouth Echo reported.
Planning inspector Stephen Hawkins, who granted the appeal, emphasised that the number of elderly people in the New Forest was higher than the national average.
Mr Hawkins added: “I’m given to understand that the percentage of older people in Brockenhurst is even higher and is forecast to increase significantly over the next 20 years.
“The number of older people having difficulty with domestic tasks or personal care is also predicted to rise.
“Detailed evidence submitted on behalf of the applicant suggested that the proposed development would meet the current and future needs of an increasing number of older people who live in the village, as opposed to having to move away to find specialist accommodation.”
PegasusLife plans to provide 24 high-quality retirement apartments by converting the hotel and building villas and cottages in the grounds.
The plans were rejected earlier this year following more than 500 objections.