PLANS to turn a garage site in Stroud into a plush, canalside retirement complex have been given the go ahead.

Developer McCarthy and Stone will replace Robert Timms garage in Cainscross Road with 32 one and two-bed private apartments, communal facilities and landscaped communal gardens.

Construction is due to start at the end of this year with the first occupants expected 12 months later.

Jeremy Timms, owner of Robert Timms garage, which has traded from the site for more than 28 years, said he would be relocating the business to new premises in the Stroud area.

"We are going to open up a place in Minchinhampton and in Gloucester before we close our Stroud branch," he said.

"The current buildings need a lot of money on them and the new places are much better so the move is a positive thing."

McCarthy and Stone, which specialises in providing accommodation for older people, launched a planning appeal after claiming that Stroud District Council had not considered the planning application within the statutory time period.

Now, a planning inspector has approved the application subject to conditions.

SDC's development control committee considered the scheme after the appeal was submitted and decided it would have refused the application.

In a report, planning inspector Jane Miles said: "The development would have several benefits, most notably in providing much needed specialist housing for the elderly, for which there is undoubtedly considerable unmet need."

Among the main issues were whether the development would fit into the townscape.

Several conditions were imposed including an age-related occupancy condition to ensure the development provides retirement housing

.A spokesman for McCarthy and Stone said: “We are really excited to be bringing an exciting new concept in retirement living to Stroud."