Consent is not granted for care home plans resubmitted amid coronavirus crisis

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Cheshire East Council has decided not to grant consent for a previously refused planning application for a 60-bed care facility in Wilmslow.

As reported on wilmslow.co.uk last week, New Care resubmitted their plans to demolish two houses at 51 to 53 Handforth Road and replace them with a 3 storey care home - calling on the Council to grant consent at the earliest possible opportunity in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, rather than waiting months for the appeal process.

However, Cheshire East Council has confirmed today (Monday, 6th April) that they have declined to determine the above application because there have been no significant changes and the development is the same as they has previously refused.

The Case Officer's report stated "The proposal is the same as that which was refused. The agent's reason for the resubmission relates to the current Coronavirus pandemic which they state has resulted in the bed spaces within the recent completions of other New Care developments, having been taken up in their entirety by the NHS to assist with the ongoing crisis, and that as the pressure increases on the health care system more such facilities will urgently be required.

"They also state that even when the Coronavirus is under control there will be a need for more care home places to deal with the longer-term implications.

"This submission does not address the previous reason for refusal in any respect and it is considered that there has been no significant change in the relevant considerations of planning policy since the decision on the previous application which is now before the Planning Inspectorate to decide. Therefore it is recommended that under Section 70A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the LPA should decline to determine this application."

The controversial plans were refused by the Northern Planning Committee for the second time in January 2020 on the grounds that "the proposal would lead to the overdevelopment of the site due to its inappropriate scale, mass and bulk - detrimentally impacting the character and appearance of the area, and there are no material considerations deemed to outweigh that harm."

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New Care, Planning Applications
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Roger Bagguley
Monday 6th April 2020 at 5:52 pm
Excellent decision. Totally inappropriate to have sought resubmission this refused application during such difficult times.

Thank you CEC officers.
Joanne Anderson
Monday 6th April 2020 at 7:45 pm
Rather furtive and underhand to try and slip this through again without any adjustments or reference to the previous reasons for refusal. It should be frowned upon the fact they have done this during such challenging and distracting period for us all and just looking for a loophole in the system. Rather arrogant and opportunist of the developer. I am glad the planning department have stuck to their previous decision on this overbearing un-necessary development
Jean Berman
Tuesday 7th April 2020 at 10:06 am
Brilliant decision
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 7th April 2020 at 5:02 pm
This re-submission clearly illustrates for all to see just how devious, underhand, callous and, best of all, just how unashamedly opportunistic and greedy both the agent and developer are. Society has enough problems to deal with for the foreseeable future without having these sort of opportunistic carpetbaggers attempting to play on the tragic pandemic for their own short-term monetary gain.
Why don't they offer some community support, such as meals etc for the home-restricted elderly?
Simon Atkins
Wednesday 8th April 2020 at 2:47 pm
Well done CEC. Great Decision. This road needs to stay residential not create more burden on services in Handforth which are already overstretched.
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 8th April 2020 at 7:42 pm
It just shows that we have to be constantly alert and organised. We can’t afford to relax and think that objecting once, twice or even four or five times is enough
Adeeba Minhas
Wednesday 8th April 2020 at 9:29 pm
Esther, Nothing wrong with the location and impact on local community would be positive. Cllr Toni Fox is a well known anti development campaigner and as such her views are not objective nor do they represent everyone’s views except a vocal few nimbyists.
The northern planning committee are hiding behind a non issue and their arguments are not sustainable in a court of law. The plans have been revised to address all major concerns but the committee is irrational in its behaviour by refusing it twice. They might as well sack the planners and make their own decisions. Good Luck to New Care I say.
Alan Brough
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 8:26 am
@Adeeba,

You've merely copied / pasted a (shameless) comment you made in response to the original article a week ago.

I'm curious to know why the only issue of interest to you on wilmslow.co.uk appears to be the development of this Care Home.
Adeeba Minhas
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 11:11 am
@alan
Who gives you the right to call my previous comment “shameless”? Secondly it is none of your business what my interest is and my comments are as important as yours. It’s people like you who just try to ram your views on others and cannot tolerate another rational view. I happen to support this development because I have seen first hand what new care homes offer to families. Most of you commenting don’t even live on the road and you keep harping on about opposing it. Try doing some proper research on the proposal instead of being emotive about it. CEC are having to defend the indefensible and they really need to bring into line their northern planning committee as it has become a liability by playing macho to their few nimbyist audience like you but does not cut mustard with the majority of constituents who want fair planning decisions balanced with addressing surrounding neighbours concerns. Planning decisions should be made on sound legal grounds that can hold in a court of law and not on personal bias of a few councillors holding sway over their fellow committee members.
Jon Williams
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 12:01 pm
Totally agree Adeeba
Simon Worthington
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 12:03 pm
Hmmm. Adeeba. Someone touch a nerve? No one objects to care homes but the location and scale (compounded by the developers suspect ways) of this home is out of keeping with the surrounding properties and businesses.
Do you have any vested interest? I note you have been asked that question before and not answered. Companies house is also enlightening. Good idea to tell us roughly where you live so we can decide if this has anything to do with you.
Adeeba Minhas
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 1:49 pm
Hmmm Simon, sorry for rattling your cage. Who the heck are you to judge whether this has anything to do with me or not? Such arrogance only shows when you have lost the argument. So mr expert what is not right about the location, and scale?If you bothered looking in detail and studying the scheme without dismissing it out of hand or at least analysed the picture above, only about 40% of the land is being used for the building itself which means 60% is landscaped. The height elevations are the same as the only single immediate neighbour. The main concern raised by the inspector was the front street scene which has been revised to the full satisfaction of the senior planners. So hiding behind scale and mass which is subjective anyway, by the committee has demonstrated it has no legal reason to refuse. Try also reading the minutes of the meeting where the committee is scouring for reasons to refuse after its previous concerns had been addressed satisfactorily. I haven't even touched on the desperate need for care homes in the area demonstrated by an independent study. You are of course entitled to your views but so am I, so please stop your condescending attitude towards others.
Adeeba Minhas
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 2:06 pm
@Jon
Thank you.
Lynne Prescott
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 4:29 pm
Adeeba, I sat through the entire 150 minutes of the last planning meeting... and there were around 45 residents ( standing room only) who did likewise, so I know that, rather than ‘ a few nimbys’ and the irrelevant ( and actually inaccurate- the building is 3 stories high and looms over the two story frontage in a way that is not depicted in the extremely misleading visuals supplied by the care home, and only 40% of the land is occupied the the building but much of the ‘ landscped area is in fact parking) talking points you borrowed from the developer, a significant number of substantive objections were in fact made and upheld, and the ones ignoring existing planning guidelines were in fact the planning officers, who ignored their own council’s rules on parking, did not follow planning inspectors advice and took the developers nationally derived ‘care needs’ calculation at face value instead of requesting a local survey which would be robust enough to overcome the inappropriate ‘ overbearing and overdeveloped site choice ( directly quoting the planning inspector here). Oh and I am a neighbour and my life would definitely not be made better, by increased traffic at the new roundabout ( which has sight line problems) increased parking on a road not wide enough to accommodate it, increasing flood risk by concreting over a large plot on a steep hill, oh and waiting even longer for a doctor’s appointment because the medical practice has already signalled it cannot cope with another care home in its catchment. If you and the developer actually looked at addressing these issues, instead of fiddling around with frontages and landscaping, then maybe we’d be having a different conversation. Better still, find a more appropriate site and build there!
Adeeba Minhas
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 6:17 pm
Lynne
Judging by your observations, there would be no development on any land that you are a neighbour of no matter what the arguments. Ultimately it will be for the professionals planners to decide based on fact and planning law, not emotion. I too followed the same meeting and it was a lot of this and that. As far as I am aware the developer put in three applications all discussed fully with planners and were only formally submitted after the senior planners were satisfied of all aspects. That is also normal practice. The committee keeps changing the goal posts which is pretty unprofessional. The latest reason for refusal is not parking as you allude, its mass and scale which is very subjective. Anyway in my opinion the benefits of the care home would far outweigh any downside.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 7:03 pm
Adeeba is hell bent on justifying this application asserting anyone objecting to it does not know anything about Planning Law. Not only has the first application been refused by CEC but the decision upheld by a Planning Inspector. The current application is refused on sound planning principles. If it significantly addresses the issues raised at the first appeal then one assumes it will be approved. Due process properly conducted. Equally so, if the refusal is upheld. Should this happen then I hope Adeeba will not think it a good idea to sack the Government Inspector along with CEC Planning officers and leave all applications to NPC.
Adeeba Minhas
Thursday 9th April 2020 at 11:40 pm
Roger, on the contrary there are more people commenting on here that are hell bent to oppose it without a proper analysis. I totally agree with you that if the process and appeal are fair based on sound planning law then the outcome would be acceptable to all. However, in my view that has not been the case so far and the committee has rejected its own planning officer’s (qualified planners who do know the law) strong recommendation three times which is unheard of in planning suggesting that some in the committee have been biased and swayed by lobbying by the relatively few opposers, most of whom I guess do not even live on the road and would not be directly affected.
Simon Worthington
Friday 10th April 2020 at 12:25 pm
Adeeba - you certainly didn't "rattle my cage" at much as yours has been rattled. Personally it makes no difference to me one way or another whether it is built or not, I just object to those who attempt to obfuscate issues with the glint of gold in sight which sums up the developer and no doubt the two property owners. You have persistently evaded answering the two pertinent questions. Do you live anywhere near this site and do you have any vested interest such as yours or a relative's financial involvement?
Bill Bennett
Friday 10th April 2020 at 1:38 pm
My curiosity was aroused when I read your numerous angry comments, complaining that planning permission had been refused for this care home. So I did some research and found that you live in one of the houses that were to be demolished.

I am surmising how that anger manifested itself, so here’s my take on it....

Are you angry, because the developers, or their agents called you and said, bad news Adeeba. Your fussy neighbours decided they don’t want to live next to a three storey commercial building, which would cause misery, noise and light pollution 365/24/7. Would you believe, they say they want the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and sadly the planning committee followed their own rules and agreed with them and refused our appeal. I am sorry, but we need to cut our losses and pull out. Unfortunately that pot of gold we offered for your house, will not be happening now. I am sure you understand. You can still sell your house, now that planning permission for our over development, seems unlikely, but I would doubt if anyone will offer the same amount, we were prepared to pay.

There is some good news, you could always remain in your house, I dare say the neighbours will eventually forgive and forget you said, this development would not cause a nuisance or disrupt their lives. However, it may take a while. Hopefully, in time, we can all forget about this stressful time in our lives and you can stop dreaming about the pot of gold that was cruelly grasped from your fingers at the last minute. However, should you decide you cannot remain in that lovely area, can I suggest, that as you are happy to live beside a nursing home, you follow our other developments. For some reason, the neighbours always want to sell their houses and you could pick up a bargain.

Have a lovely Easter Weekend.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 10th April 2020 at 1:39 pm
Saying that the Northern Planning Committee should just abide by the findings of the planning officers is bizarre. The committee’s job is to test the hypothesis of the officers and their interpretation of planning law. It allows all the arguments to be heard in the open and a decision to be made with full transparency.

Unfortunately, the previous Conservative planning committees made a total mockery of this important function by rubber stamping anything that came before them. No more though.

Councillors from all across the north of the borough sit on the committee, so to say that local opinion in Wilmslow unduly sways the decision of say a Labour councillor for Macclesfield or a Conservative one for Prestbury is also highly irrational. They look at the merits and the arguments that are made both for and against the development and vote accordingly.

However, if the committee’s decision is unjust, then an appeal is heard by a fully independent Planning Inspector. In this case they rejected New Care’s initial appeal and concluded “I have found that the appeal proposal would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area. Due to the permanence of the building, this harm would be significant and lasting. This would conflict with the relevant requirements of Policies SD2 and SE1 of the CELPS and weighs heavily against the proposal…Nor is there any substantive evidence that there is an overriding need for care home provision that would warrant the harm that would be caused.”

Ultimately, theirs is the only opinion that counts.

Others are entitled to disagree with them and the Northern Planning Committee and can keep their motives for doing so private if they wish. Likewise, I am also entitled to view their undue secrecy with suspicion and conclude they don’t care what harm this development causes as they are bitter from seeing their fast buck go up in smoke.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Adeeba Minhas
Friday 10th April 2020 at 1:40 pm
I refer readers to a comment made by Peter Capper on 7/2/20 about you that neatly sums you up. http://www.wilmslow.co.uk/news/article/19987/royal-london-given-the-green-light-for-new-office-development

You keep accusing me of some vested sinister plot just because I have a different view to yours and that you will ‘decide’ whether my comments are valid. Let me be clear, I do not have a financial interest in this proposal and I worked close by in a not for profit organisation and I attended a local school. In any case who do you do you think you are by levelling accusations? I can be living anywhere, and have any motive to comment. It’s for readers to consider my comments if they are valid or not about the conduct of the committee and on the merits of the case. You are of course within your rights to disagree, but why are you and others who oppose it afraid of anyone else making comments on this forum. Do you have a monopoly on free speech and opinion? You and the majority commentating here do not even live on the road and are not directly affected by this development so should that make you less qualified to comment on this matter.
Bill Bennett
Friday 10th April 2020 at 4:38 pm
Adeeba,

I suspect you missed my previous comment.

I strongly disagree with your statement “you have no vested interest” living in one of the houses that would be demolished, to build this monstrosity, could only be described as a vested interest.

Your annoyance here, is the fact that you thought you would sell your house at a premium and now that has been snatched away from you. You really don’t give a dam about the neighbours, your only thought was profit. I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am, that your alliance with this devious developer has not succeeded. I am sure I speak for all of your neighbours.
Adeeba Minhas
Friday 10th April 2020 at 6:00 pm
@Cllr Goldsmith

“...Cheshire East's Local Plan means we are in real danger of losing many of the green fields around Wilmslow. “

Ironic is it not that you are quoted above as wanting to protect the green belt from development but then refuse a proposal which is on a brownfield site large enough and private enough to take a relatively small care home, a proposal that was reduced from 85 bed to 60 bed and revised several times to address concerns on the behest of your planning officers and all relevant technical experts. You then hide behind mass and scale for refusing it when the building is only c40% including parking and the rest is landscaped. People are entitled to read from your bullish attitude and remarks about previous planning committee members that you want to set an example of your “toughness” and anti development credentials.
In a post C-19 world I believe more development and economic growth will be crucial and regions need to play their part in supporting it. As a local Cllr you are supposed to represent a balanced view taking into account all perspectives not just the few who are lobbying you.

Re your other comments trying to discredit me..I have already answered in another post.
Pete Taylor
Friday 10th April 2020 at 6:04 pm
What I don't is: if there really is such a pressing need for a care home in the area, how is it that an existing care home was deemed not to be viable and developers are pressing to replace it with housing?

https://bit.ly/3c7trJT
Adeeba Minhas
Friday 10th April 2020 at 8:15 pm
@Bill
Thank you for your sarcasm. As you clearly cannot argue on the merits of this case you resort to personal attacks. I certainly have no financial interest in this nor do I live in any of the properties and you can speculate as much as you like. It seems by your logic ‘owners’ or anyone living in properties proposed for development cannot comment on a proposal that affects their property but someone like you who does not live on the road and is not affected by the development can do so? Your patronising remarks about representing the feelings of residents on the road when you do not live on the road yourself is bizarre. I also detect a bit of jealousy from you about the owners potential “gold/windfall”. Perhaps you could approach them for a slice, in return for dropping your opposition, it may help to expand your business.

Although, I do not need to justify myself to you, I have worked close by in a social care context where I have looked after people with disabilities or people who are unable to live on their own as they are vulnerable, hence why I feel there is a great need for care homes and other supportive measures. I also attended local school for many years and am familiar with the area. I am entitled to my opinion on the matter just as much as you and will not be silenced with personal attacks.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter to me about the result but how it was arrived at. So far this process and the planning committee’s conduct in this case has been far from convincing, in my opinion.

Happy Easter to you too.
Chris Neill
Friday 10th April 2020 at 8:34 pm
So good that this Adeeba bloke and his rants are exposed, and so good that those acting on behalf of keeping Wilmslow and surrounds, a pleasant and quality place to live,against massive pressure from clever developers, have seen through it.
This word "development" sounds good doesn't it, but it's a word which mostly stands for any unscrupulous method to greedily take land and spoil it for future generations for short term greed.
I hope, somehow, we can continue to stop these onslaughts by people who don't care a stuff about the quality, the environment, and the long term preservation of our small, embattled town.
Simon Worthington
Saturday 11th April 2020 at 10:55 am
Keep digging Adeeba, you can borrow a bigger shovel if you wish. You have all but ensured that, if this application reappears, there will be a much larger negative response. You have denied living in one of the houses and that, personally, you have no financial interest. Still didn't answer the question Thanks for that.

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