NURSING HOME: Extension delayed for site visit
A decision on plans to add a first floor extension to a Stafford nursing home has been delayed until councillors can visit the site to consider the impact on neighbours and car parking.
The application to build a new storey above an existing ground floor wing at Rowley House Nursing Home has sparked concerns the development will be overbearing for neighbouring houses.
But nursing home bosses have said the addition will enable the site to help meet local demand for beds for people with dementia.
Nine extra bedrooms will be created if the plans are passed for the Rowley Avenue site are passed. They include a two-storey internal stairwell and have been recommended for approval by council planning officers.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, who represents the Rowley ward, called in the application for consideration by the planning committee. She highlighted a lack of turning space and ambulance parking area in the plans put forward at Wednesday’s committee meeting (May 26).
She said: “The dominant and overbearing nature of the proposed development will have a significant adverse impact upon neighbouring properties and Rowley Avenue. This will tower over the houses behind.
“Cars will have to reverse onto the main road – how would you get the cars to enter and exit with no turning point? Since when was no ambulance space acceptable for a care home?”
Home manager Carol Pearce told the planning committee the majority of staff lived within a three -mile radius of the site and many used other means to travel to work.
“We’re looking to form a dedicated dementia unit and the proposed extension will go some way to provide this valuable service”, she added. “The local Clinical Commissioning Group will support this as they often struggle to find places for dementia patients in this area.”
The highways authority has raised no objections to the proposals, a report to Wednesday’s meeting said, but a site visit has not been possible due to Government restrictions.
The report added: “The plans do not show an ambulance space; however, it is considered that the site can accommodate an ambulance to the site frontage without impeding the site access, particularly as the proposal does not alter the existing site frontage.”
Planning committee members raised concerns about the parking arrangements and agreed to defer their decision until they are able to go on a site visit.
Planning committee visit to application sites were put on hold last year as part of measures to control the spread of coronavirus.
Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter
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