Planning permission to build a 60 bedroom care home on Manchester Road has been refused.
Members of the Northern Planning Committee voted against the Planning Officer's recommendation to approve Care UK's plans which involved demolishing two detached homes with detached garages at 107 to 109 Manchester Road and replacing them with a care home containing 60 ensuite bedrooms.
The scheme included a hairdressers, café and a cinema on there ground floor along with lounges, dining rooms and flexible day rooms on all floors.
Objections were received from 145 properties who raised concerns regarding a lack of car parking, highway safety issues, poor drainage, doctors' surgeries in the area will be overwhelmed, there is not a need in the area for additional care homes, loss of light and overlooking to surrounding adjacent neighbours, the building will be out of character with the surrounding area and public transport is lacking to the site.
Wilmslow Town Council recommended refusal of the application on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site within a low-density area and being contrary to Policy NE6 of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan with regards to garden development. They stated "The development is out-of-keeping with the streetscene, particularly in terms of mass. The proposed parking provision is of poor design, insufficient and contrary to Cheshire East Council's policy in respect of care home parking provision."
Cllr Iain Macfarlane, Wilmslow West & Chorley, said "After generating a huge amount of comments on the Cheshire East planning website this application for a 60 bed care home was soundly rejected by the Northern Planning committee.
Ward Councillor Don Stockton opened the debate against the proposal followed by Councillor Jon Newell from Residents of Wilmslow who raised the problem of 65 staff travelling to work at a care home with limited car parking
spaces and a lack of sufficient public transport servicing the site.
Cllr Mark Goldsmith discussed the already high number of available beds in local care homes and questioned the need for another one. Christopher Lee, a local objector, spoke about these plans which would result in massive over-development with a huge commercial building in the middle of a residential area.
"The voting by the Northern Planning committee was 2 for the proposal and 8 against."
The scheme was refused on the grounds that "The proposed development, would result in a cramped form of development and overdevelopment of the site which would undermine the visual amenity of the area and its low density character" and "It has not been demonstrated that there is a proven need for such elderly accommodation."
The Planning Officer had recommended the Northern Planning Officer approve the application stating:
"The application lies within Wilmslow, which is identified as a Key Service Centre where the principle of such development on the site is acceptable. As the proposal is not classified as use class C3 (dwellinghouses), there is no affordable housing requirement. However, the development will provide suitable accommodation to enable an ageing population within Cheshire East to live full independent lives for as long as possible. It is considered that the proposal would make a valuable contribution towards housing for elderly people within the Borough, as well as continuity in their care, which is a material consideration. In light of an objection from the Council's Adult Services, the precise need is still being discussed with the applicant and will be reported to Members by way of an update."
Adding "The proposal also raises no significant visual, highway safety, 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, it is considered that the proposal accords with all other relevant Development Plan policies and as such it is recommended the application be approved, subject to relevant conditions and a s106 contribution towards healthcare provision."
The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council planning portal by searching for planning reference 20/1560M.