Former police offices could make way for 76-bed care home despite traffic fears

Residents have branded plans to demolish a former police authority building “sacrilege” – and fear a new care home proposed for the site will make existing traffic problems even worse.

The two-storey building on Cannock Road, Stafford, dates back to the 1880s and was used as offices by the former Staffordshire Police Authority for around 40 years before plans were passed a decade ago to convert it into a family home.

A new application has been submitted to Stafford Borough Council to replace the property with a 76-bed care home. If approved, the new two-storey development would create more than 85 new jobs.

But more than 10 residents have objected to the proposals because of concerns about extra traffic on the busy A34 Cannock Road and the impact of the new facility on neighbours.

The former Staffordshire Police headquarters on the other side of Cannock Road was pulled down several years ago to make way for a massive new housing development.

The entrance to the proposed care home site is directly opposite the junction of Cannock Road and Sergeant Way, which leads to the new Baswich Grange estate.

One Wildwood Lawns resident said: “The planned build will directly overlook my rear garden and overlook my bedroom. This will make my life a misery.

“I will not feel comfortable in my garden – I will have people staring out of windows into my bungalow and garden. There will be lights on 24 hours a day, how will I sleep?

“What about drainage? The drains are not coping with the new houses built on old police ground. This build will put more pressure on the drains.”

Another Wildwood Lawns resident said: “To knock down the existing residence would be a disgrace as it is a beautiful building which has been there over a hundred years.

“I feel the building is excessively large for the site and residential area and will overshadow the surrounding properties. The majority of owners are retired and the resulting extra noise from staff, visitors, doctors, ambulances, delivery vehicles (and) continual banging of car, van doors et cetera will prevent residents enjoying their gardens and wildlife in the area.

“The extra traffic in the area will be a nightmare as there is more than enough traffic at the moment and there are queues during the day accessing and exiting Wildwood Drive onto the Cannock Road. When the new development of housing opposite is completed there will be even more vehicles trying to gain access to the Cannock Road.”

A Larchwood resident said: “The new housing estate built by Bellway Homes has added considerably to the current traffic problems. A large care home, whose entrance would be directly opposite the Bellway Homes Cannock Road entrance at Sergeant Way would simply add to the traffic chaos.

“Crossfields House is a character building that was purchased from Staffordshire Police, and has been extensively refurbished by the current owner, therefore it would be sacrilege to demolish it.

“Does Stafford Borough Council care about Staffordshire heritage, or are they going to allow this character building to be demolished as they did with the Old Police Baswich House? Come on Stafford Borough Council stand up for once – support the residents who loyally pay our council tax each year.”

Borough councillor Ray Barron, who represents the Weeping Cross and Wildwood ward, has called in the application for consideration by the authority’s planning committee.

A supporting statement submitted as part of the application said the development would be a “high quality 76-bedroom care home”.

It added: “The care home will be set primarily over two storeys, with a split of 36 bedrooms at ground floor level and 40 bedrooms at first floor level.

“It will provide accommodation to residents with a range of care needs, from residential care to full nursing care. Some residents will have dementia and others will have conditions such as multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease.

“The external layout and appearance of the proposal has been designed to respond positively to the surrounding area. Cues have been taken from surrounding properties, particularly from the new development to the east of the site.

“The attractive two-storey development protects the residential character and amenity of the properties to the north and south of the site. The care home appears as two properties side-by-side, with a glazed link to break up the visual mass of the home.

“The proposal includes landscaped gardens to provide external amenity spaces for those residents who are able to access the garden. At ground floor, each bedroom has access to a patio area and views of the surrounding gardens.”

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