Revised plans to demolish two detached residential properties in Wilmslow and erect a care home are set to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.
New Care Project are seeking permission to demolish two 4 bedroomed houses in large plots at 51 to 53 Handforth Road and replace them with a 60 bedroom care home which will be arranged over three floors.
The Altrincham based company originally submitted a planning application in March 2018 to demolish the two detached houses and replace them with an 83 bedroom three-storey care home. However, due to some objections from the local community a decision was not forthcoming and New Care submitted an amended scheme for a 65 bedroom care home with a revised site entrance position as well as 26 car parking spaces.
However, the second scheme was met with strong opposition with 84 letters of objection received and was refused by the Northern Planning Committee in April 2019. Members of the Northern Planning Committee unanimously agreed that it was an overdevelopment of the site, which resulted in a lack of car parking, an overbearing impact on neighbouring property because of the bulk and massing as well as being out of character with the street scene.
There has been a subsequent appeal to the second scheme which was dismissed due to the visual harm to the street scene and harm to the character and appearance of the area.
This application has since been amended in the light of the Inspectors comments and comprises a 60 bed care home with the number of parking spaces reduced from 34 to 25 spaces. Therefore the application has been the subject of two rounds of consultation.
Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee recommend refusal of this application on the grounds that the proposal has not been substantially amended. They wrote "The Town Council's Planning Committee remains of the view that this application is overdevelopment of the site out of keeping with the area. The proposed parking provision is still inadequate, and the proposed tandem parking arrangements will result of more traffic movements with vehicles needing to be moved to allow other vehicles to leave. The nearby bus route timetable is not convenient with regard to working hours and, as a result, staff are more likely to need to drive to the site.
"The proposed development remains overbearing on neighbouring properties resulting in loss of privacy. In addition, following the recent flooding in the area, the Town Council's Planning Committee raised concerns that the storm drains will be unable to accommodate increased surface water flow which will inevitably result from the much increased area of hard landscaping on the site."
Representations were received from 39 properties, Handforth Health Centre, Esther McVey MP and Councillor Toni Fox during the first consultation and representations have been received from 13 properties and Handforth Health Centre during the second consultation.
In response to the first consultation, Cllr Toni Fox said "Whilst there is a provision of 34 car parking spaces which meets the minimum parking standards 26 of these are tandem car parking spaces. A single vehicle access to the site poses additional questions in relation to highway safety. A swept path analysis has not been submitted demonstrating the large delivery vehicles/waste collection and ambulances can enter and leave the site in forward gear."
She added "This is an overdevelopment of the site that will be overbearing in height, bulk, mass and scale to neighbouring properties and will impact on residential amenity, and on the street scene. The proposal is for a 3 storey building in a predominantly 2 storey residential area."
Handforth Health Centre also objected saying "Handforth Health Centre currently provides care to all of the 100 residents in Eden Mansions nursing home, a very large 4 unit nursing home providing complex care to patients with dementia. We provide care under the ECCCG nursing home scheme and currently visit the home for 3 GP sessions a week with up to 90 patient contacts a week.
"The provision of another large nursing home in the HHC catchment area will place additional strain on GP appointments for the currently registered patient population as this would require a similar level of GP time commitment to another nursing home. Given the placement of the nursing home on the Manchester and Stockport borders it is likely that, as is the case for Eden Mansions, the majority of the residents will move into Eastern Cheshire from out of the area. It is notable that Eastern Cheshire already has one of the highest rates of nursing home beds per capita in the country."
However, the Planning Officer is recommending the application for approval by the Northern Planning Committee at their meeting on Wednesday, 4th December.
Concluding that "While the objections are noted, the amended scheme is considered to be acceptable and has responded appropriately to the Inspectors comments on the previous refusal and appeal decision. As the proposal is not classified as use class C3 (dwellinghouses) there is no affordable housing requirement. However, the development will provide suitable accommodation for an ageing population within Cheshire East. The impact on European Protected Species and other ecological interests has been assessed by the nature conservation officer and is acceptable.
"The proposal accords with the relevant ecology policies in the local plan and national guidance in the Framework. There is not considered to be any reason, having regard to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, to withhold planning permission in this case. Similarly, the amended proposal also raises no significant visual, amenity, design or flooding issues, and complies with relevant local and national planning policies.
"A number of economic benefits will also arise from the development including additional trade for local business and the creation of employment. Bearing all the above points in mind and subject to the receipt of outstanding consultee comments, it is considered that the proposal accords with relevant Development Plan policies and as such it is recommended the application be approved, subject to relevant conditions and a s106 contribution to healthcare."
The revised plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 19/3831M.