A PUBLIC consultation event is to be held over plans to build retirement homes on part of a former animal centre site.

Developers McCarthy and Stone have sent out a letter to residents living near Mistley Park Place over their plans to transform almost ten per cent of the site into housing.

The document states the developers are in the early stages of drawing up the proposals for part of the former animal sanctuary.

If permission is granted, the land will be used to build retirement apartments and bungalows although no numbers have yet been released.

The remainder of the area would be gifted to Mistley Parish Council and the community as public space.

Michael Taylor, owner of Mistley Place Park, said he had offered the land to the developers for free and he said he fully supports the proposals.

He added: “It’s up to Tendring Council, the parish council and the residents to decide whether they want it or not.

“But the developers have got our backing.

“We believe it’s a wonderful proposal and we have been discussing it for almost a year now.

“They’d use only a small part of the land, which will be beneficial for people over 60.”

McCarthy and Stone said in its statement: “We would like to invite you to our public exhibition to meet our team, view the proposals and provide us with your feedback on our plans before we submit a planning application.”

The public consultation will take place on Tuesday, January 28 at the Mistley Place Park tearooms, in New Road, Mistley between 3pm and 7pm.

The council added if firm plans are announced an extraordinary public parish council meeting would be held and residents would be invited to attend and voice their views.

A spokesman for Mistley Parish Council said: “The extraordinary meeting will take place once a formal planning application has been received by Tendring Council and details of the meeting will be advised at that point.

“Until such time please be advised that Mistley Parish Council has no further information about this potential development.”

A spokesperson for McCarthy and Stone said: “This is a great opportunity to obtain feedback on our scheme and thoughts for Mistley Place Park so we can ensure its best possible future.

“Our proposals will deliver a high-quality, attractive development which will both deliver much-needed older people’s housing in the area, but also enhance the remainder of Mistley Place Park for the benefit of the local community.

“Members of our project team will be on hand at the public exhibition to answer questions and listen to feedback.

"The proposals are at a very early stage and where possible we will amend our plans to reflect people’s comments.”