A neighbour who objected to the plans for a first-floor extension at Rowley House Nursing Home in Stafford said he would be like a “goldfish in a bowl” because residents would be able to see into his conservatory.
The application to build a new storey above an existing ground floor wing at the Rowley Avenue home was called in by ward councillor Carolyn Trowbridge on the grounds “the dominant and overbearing nature of the proposed development will have a significant adverse impact upon neighbouring properties and Rowley Avenue”.
Committee members considered the application at a previous meeting but deferred their decision so they could go on a site visit, which took place on Wednesday. Ambulance parking was also questioned at the previous meeting, but further information has since been provided by the applicant’s agent to indicate where space could be provided for an emergency vehicle.
Speaking at a planning committee meeting, Councillor Trowbridge said: ”You saw the lack of unusable outside space, the cramming in of the building and the sheer size of it, showing how out of keeping it already is. The development has already outgrown the area it sits on.”
Objector Keith Howe, of Sandown Croft, told the committee nearby residents had “very strong feelings” about the development. Concerns included loss of trees and “unworkable parking arrangements”.
He added: “This nursing home is already over three times its original size. The first floor extension will be completely overbearing and my conservatory will appear as a goldfish bowl to the residents in the extension.
“This application needs to be rejected.”
Stafford Borough Council’s planning officers had recommended the application for approval.
At the previous meeting committee members were told the extension would enable the home to help meet local demand for beds for people with dementia by creating nine extra bedrooms,
Home manager Carol Pearce said the majority of staff lived within a three-mile radius of the site and many used other means to travel to work.
“We’re looking to form a dedicated dementia unit and the proposed extension will go some way to provide this valuable service”, she added.
“The local clinical commissioning group will support this as they often struggle to find places for dementia patients in this area.”
But committee members went against their officers’ recommendation and voted to refuse permission.
Councillor Gareth Jones said: “I have quite a bit of sympathy with the points of the ward councillor. My impression was one of cramming and over-utilisation of the site.
Councillor Marnie Phillips, who proposed the application should be rejected, said: “I have the same grave concerns as my fellow councillors have.”