Stafford care home extension plans turned down

A Stafford care home’s extension bid has been turned down by borough councillors because of concerns it would overlook neighbouring houses.

Brookside Care Home on Eccleshall Road, in Stafford. Photo: Google Maps
Brookside Care Home on Eccleshall Road, in Stafford. Photo: Google Maps

The ground and lower ground extension would have enabled Brookside in Eccleshall Road to increase its capacity from 25 to 29 residents.

Care home boss Mandip Khaira told Wednesday’s Stafford Borough Council planning committee meeting that there was a need for more care home places in the area.

He added: “Brookside is a fantastic care home and we want to make it outstanding.

“Stafford currently has a shortage of beds and we want to keep people in Stafford and not let them down. Our aim is to provide the elderly and frail with the quality of life they deserve to have.

“Feedback from neighbours has amended our plans. All bedroom windows are angled to avoid directly overlooking neighbours.”

But council planning officers recommended the application for refusal ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.

A report to the committee said: “The proposed two-storey extension, by reason of its excessive length, scale, massing, design, and orientation of bedroom windows, would result in an unacceptable level of overlooking and a consequent loss of privacy to the occupiers of (two) properties, thereby harming residential amenity

“It would project 20 metres and when combined with previous extensions would have a total length of 52m from the rear elevation of the original two storey Victorian villa. The design, form, scale and particularly the excessive length of the proposal and resultant massing would therefore appear as a disproportionate addition to the original two-storey Victorian villa and would consequently form an incongruent and over dominant feature in the context of other smaller detached dwellings in the immediate locality and would materially harm the character and appearance of the area.”

Councillor Jonathan Price, who represents the Holmcroft ward, called in the application for consideration by committee members.

He said: “I felt it appropriate Mandip and his staff have their ‘day in court’.

“It does impact on two of the residents quite significantly – that’s my concern as a member. On the other hand we have the need for care homes.

“I think the work that Mandip and his staff do in this care home is absolutely outstanding. The care and compassion they give to residents is fantastic.”

Stafford Borough Council has previously refused permission for a two-storey extension to Rose Villa Nursing Home, which also on Eccleshall Road, because of size concerns. But this decision was later overturned at a planning appeal.

Councillor Ann Edgeller, speaking about the Brookside application, said: “I applaud all the good work being done – we need more beds for the elderly. What concerns me is the parking situation.

“I visited the care home a few years ago and the parking was a real situation then. Would an ambulance be able to get in and out?”

Councillor Jill Hood said: “I’m worried about the size of the extension which looks to me like it would be taking most of the green space away. Is there somewhere for residents to get out and get fresh air?”

Councillor Gareth Jones said: “There is a degree of support for the proposal but I think we need to take into consideration the impact on those objectors. It is quite a significant impact on the two houses and I don’t think that’s reasonable.”

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