Controversial plans to demolish two detached residential properties in Wilmslow and erect a care home have been refused by the Northern Planning Committee again today (Wednesday, 15th January).
Altrincham based New Care Project were seeking permission for their revised plans to demolish two four bedroomed houses in large plots at 51 to 53 Handforth Road in Wilmslow and replace them with a 60 bedroom 3 storey care home.
The Planning Officer recommended the application for approval by the Northern Planning Committee, however committee members disagreed with his recommendation.
The application was deferred from the Northern Planning committee on 4th December 2019 requesting that the impact of glazed link to front elevation be reduced and additional information providing regarding to need for the development.
The Altrincham based company subsequently submitted further amended plans which the Planning Inspector said "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 also submitted a needs assessment, which indicated a need for 391 market standard bed spaces within the 3 mile sensitivity catchment area.
Speaking about the changes made to the frontage of development, Cllr Craig Browne said "I find it refreshing that the applicants have come back with answers to the reasons we set out for deferral at the last meeting, I think improvements have been made to the frontage and from Handforth Road. However, the thing we haven't; really discussed in detail is the fact that parking standards are not being met. We've heard from the Highways Officer that our standards would expect 34 spaces and the proposal in front of us is only suggesting a provision of 25.
"Now I accept that the previous planning inspector didn't list this as one of the reasons for their decision previously but as we know planning inspectors don't necessarily arrive at the same conclusions for the same reasons."
Adding "Personally I would have liked to have seen the lack of adherence to our parking standard as a further reason for refusal."
Members voted by 8 votes to 3 to refuse planning permission for the care home 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."
New Care Project initially submitted a planning application in March 2018 to demolish the two detached houses and replace them with an 83 bedroom. However, due to some objections from the local community a decision not forthcoming, New Care submitted an amended scheme for a 65 bedroom care home with a revised site entrance and 26 car parking spaces.
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 properties because of the bulk and massing as well as being out of character with the street scene.
New Care appealed against the decison to refuse the second scheme but this 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 which was refused today (Wednesday, 15th January).