Burnham-On-Sea town councillors have this week unanimously objected against a care home’s unveiled plans to build a large development of 11 new apartments on its site.
As reported here, Beaufort Park care home in Burnham’s Rectory Road has submitted a planning application for the demolition of several existing buildings to make way for the 11 new residential units.
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council’s planning applications committee has this week considered the proposals and heard from three local residents who spoke at the meeting about their concerns over the large size and “out of keeping” design of the site.
Owner Agincare Holdings Ltd says the new one-bedroom apartments would be designed for “independent living for the elderly, set within the grounds of the existing care home around the landscaped courtyard.”
The company says that the project will include the demolition of several “redundant” buildings – a two-storey house and store with two staff flats plus a workshop and garages.
The residents are concerned that the new development would be “out of keeping with the surrounding area” and would be built right on the boundary adjacent to neighbouring homes.
Cllr James Warren said during Wednesday’s council meeting: “Looking over the plans and listening to the speakers, I can see how it will negatively effect the standard of living and the lives of people nearby. The footpint has increased considerably – it’s going to be bigger and taller, so for me it’s a ‘no’, even though I do think we need more residential care properties in the town. I just dont think they need to be in two storey buildings like this.”
Cllr Barbara Vickers added: “We had a lovely Victorian building here with nice grounds. When I came to look at the plans, I was shocked. The plans are absolutely right up against the boundaries. My major concern, though, is that it would not sympathetic to the nearby properties that are there. I object to this.”
Cllr Julie Flurry added: “I agree with those comments – it would not be in keeping and would be such a large site.”
An Agincare spokesan says in its application: “As with many places across the country, Somerset and Burnham specifically has seen care homes being closed in recent months, leaving reduced capacity in the market. This is placing a strain on other schemes and services that support older people.”
“Retirement flats that include sheltered or extra care elements are in demand, linked with national and local strategy around keeping older people independent in their own homes for as long as possible but also releasing larger, family homes back into the market to meet other housing needs.”
“There is a stated need in national and local strategies for increased housing and for plans that support older people to live independently in suitably adapted and supported accommodation within their local communities.”
“Beaufort Park has a significant and well-landscaped plot, with limited buildings on it for its size. The development sits within the footprint of existing outbuildings, including flats and a house alongside the garages and storage areas. The current buildings lack cohesion in their appearance, having been developed at various times, and are not fully utilised for the good of the local community. They are also in need of repair.”
“As well as meeting national and local need for retirement properties, the proposed plans will allow for better use of the space, a more cohesive appearance, with improved build and environmental quality.”
The planning application has reference number 11/23/00023 and comments are welcome until April 18th to Sedgemoor District Council (and to Somerset Council after April 1st).