PROPOSALS for a 37-bed complex for older people in Worcester have been delayed over concerns it would totally block out sunlight to a number of nearby homes.

Abbeyfield Worcester Society’s bid to build the development in White Ladies Close, Barbourne, will be reviewed to see if the building can be set back by about six metres.

During a meeting of Worcester City Council’s planning committee Gerald Harris, the group’s chairman, said the facility would be a major asset.

But despite being in favour of the project, the panel deferred making a decision so that architects could be consulted over shifting the complex to allow sun over the top of it.

As your Worcester News revealed on Tuesday, the site would offer one or two-bedroom flats for people aged over 55 in need of accommodation with tailored care visits.

The facility, complete with 19 parking spaces, would create 14 jobs and see three unsightly industrial units demolished.

Abbeyfield Worcester Society operates a nine-bed complex at 12 Green Hill in London Road but says it needs a much larger site to meet demand.

Mr Harris said: “The accommodation we’ve got now is not meeting expectations and there is a need for change.

“The site we have identified is the best we’ve been able to find, and we have been looking for several years. Abbeyfield will be a very good neighbour.”

His comments came after Will Selsby, a nearby resident, told the committee he had “major concerns over proximity and overlooking”.

“If it was set back, the issue would be solved,” he said. “We are not against the principle of the development, but do have concerns over the details of it.” He also said it would “condemn residents to obscurity” if the sun was not allowed to beam towards their properties.

Councillor Roger Berry said: “The reputation of Abbeyfield is well known. They do a lot of good work in the city and I know they’ve been looking for suitable premises for a long time.”

Councillor Geoff Williams, chairman of the committee, said: “We won’t gain anything by trying to design it here – I suggest we defer it so a discussion can be had about moving the building.”

The application is likely to be voted on in May or June.