A PROPOSAED upscale village for the over 55s will help alleviate loneliness, a charity has claimed.

Age Concern has backed plans from Cherry Orchard Homes and Villages to transform a former brickworks site next to the £150million Saxon Business Park. The developers bought the land 13 years ago.

Outline plans, which are due to be submitted to Rochford District Council within a matter of days, show the site would be made up of a 90 bed nursing home, luxury apartments and shops.

On-site facilities will include a medical centre, pharmacy, dental surgery, wellbeing centre, health spa, bistro and coffee shop - all of which will be accessible to both village residents and the surrounding community.

There would also be a concierge, free shuttle buses, and a car club - which would mean residents could borrow a car as and when they needed to.

Age Concern will have on office based in the village. Chief executive Lin Boulter believes it help the charity provide vital services and tackle loneliness and the housing shortage.

She said: “I think it’s perfect. With all the loneliness and isolation that we try and tackle, this purpose-built village will go great lengths to alleviating that.

“The way it is designed will mean that it will create its own community.

“We offer a befriending service and so having everything in one place will make life so much easier for our volunteers.”

The land is currently allocated for commercial development by Rochford District Council, according to the Joint Area Action Plan. It lies next to the Saxon Business Park, off Cherry Orchard Way, which is currently under construction. It will create 4,815 jobs, and will include a 90-bedroom hotel, a pub and restaurant, and be home to big name firms and high-tech businesses.

Southend councillor for housing and public protection, Mark Flewitt, believes the retirement village will be beneficial for the borough.

He said: “I like this kind of idea that will bring back a bit of community spirit which has gone awry recently.

“It will also help solve the problem of isolation faced by many of our older residents.

“Because there will be shops and amenities there that everyone can use, it will promote inclusion so I wholly welcome the development and hope the planning authority approve them.”

The village is already proving popular - with a waiting list of potential residents.

Ivor Finer, head of marketing at Cherry Orchard Homes and Villages, said: “It’s great to get the support from so many people and we already have a waiting list for people wanting a spot.

“We’re optimistic the plans will be approved. This is a sustainable project that will provide diverse employment opportunities and free up housing for others.”