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 application was deferred from the Northern Planning committee on 4th December 2019 for the following reasons: to reduce impact of glazed link to front elevation and additional information relating to need for the development.
Members raised concerns regarding the design of the proposed building, in particular the glazed link on the front elevation. Since then the Altrincham based company has submitted further amended plans which include the following alterations.
- The glazed link is now predominantly glass and the solid parts of the elevations have been removed.
- The depth of the link has also been reduced from 11.4m deep at ground floor to 9.7m deep with a slimmer link at first floor measuring 2.9m deep, which would provide a connecting corridor only.
- There are also some elevational changes which include alteration of the palette of materials, alterations to the proposed fenestration to be more traditionally domestic in nature and the addition of front canopies and bay windows.
In a report prepared for the Northern Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, 15th January, the Planning Inspector says "It is considered that the design has changed to a more traditional style and has responded to feedback by reducing the massing to the street scene elevations as highlighted by the previous Inspector and committee members. The link has been pushed back and the structure lightened to enable the North East elevational street scene to read as individual dwellings. Similarly the rear of the proposal has been broken down into forms that relate to the scale of the residential context. The refinement of the design enables the proposal to sit more comfortably within the street scene and the context of its surroundings."
The applicant has also submitted a needs assessment, which indicates a need for 391 market standard bed spaces within the 3 mile sensitivity catchment area and should the 60 bed scheme be developed it would only fill 6.5% of the unmet need.
New Care Project 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.
The application was then amended in the light of the Inspectors comments to comprise a 60 bed care home with 25 car parking spaces.
The Planning Officer is recommending the application for approval by the Northern Planning Committee at their meeting on Wednesday, 15th January. 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."
If the application is approved a Section 106 Agreement will be required, and should include a healthcare contribution of £28, 914.60 to help support the development of Handforth Health Centre.
The revised plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 19/3831M.