Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Home appeals over refusal of extension

THE owners of a care home in Whitchurch have appealed after its plans for a £3million expansion were

THE owners of a care home in Whitchurch have appealed after its plans for a £3million expansion were rejected for a second time.

Health operator Majesticare wants to increase the number of bedrooms at Eastfield House from 23 to 45.

It hopes to demolish part of the original building in Eastfield Lane and replace it with a three-storey extension.

The new bedrooms would be for over-65s who need care around the clock.

South Oxfordshire District Council rejected the company’s planning application in August after neighbours opposed it.

Fifty-three residents sent letters of objection, claiming the building would overshadow their homes.

Now Majesticare is appealing to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the council’s decision.

The company’s first plans were rejected by the district council in 2010. It appealed against the decision in 2011 but was turned down.

The company revised its plan, moving the building 38ft further away from the site boundary.

Planning officers at the district council recommended the new plan be approved but members of the planning committee turned it down, saying the extension was “grossly excessive”.

Opponents say the scheme would double the size of the home.

Harry Butterworth, chairman of Whitchurch Parish Council, said: “Everyone in the village is horrified that they’ve appealed. When the plan was turned down a second time, we hoped they’d realise it was completely out of proportion.

“We have made it clear to them that we’re not against the home itself and want it to be part of the community. We are just against this colossal development, which is more like a factory than a care home.”

Majesticare says Eastfield House must expand because smaller care homes are struggling to stay in business.

A spokesman said: “This is a brownfield site with existing and adequate infrastructure and, as such, is a sustainable proposal.

“It meets an identified need for the elderly, who may otherwise be forced to move elsewhere, and would create new job opportunities for local people.”

The Planning Inspectorate is inviting comments until May 30. To comment, visit www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals and search for a case using the reference APP/Q3115/A/13/2192681.

Eastfield House was built as a private residence in the 1880s.

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