Hundreds of spaces to go as care home plan lodged for Bridgnorth car park
Plans have been submitted for a three-storey care home on the site of a car park in Bridgnorth - meaning the loss of hundreds of town centre parking spaces.
LNT Care Developments has submitted its application for the facility on Old Smithfield Car Park, removing hundreds of spaces and creating 24 mixed-use bays remaining.
It comes after Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce raised concerns for the future of the car park it called "vital" to the town's economy, having been told by Shropshire Council planning chiefs last year that no proposals for a potential care home had been made.
The site is already subject to existing planning permission for five retail units, which was granted to Ziran Land in 2018 despite belonging to Sainsbury's at the time, sparking protests across the town.
In February this year, Ziran Land purchased the site from Sainsbury's for £1.2 million – with LNT Care Developments listed as a beneficiary.
A statement lodged with the planning application says the care home would face the cricket pitch to the west of the site, and be used primarily for general residential and dementia care.
It also says feedback and information forms were sent to nearby residents, as well as Councillor Christian Lea – who represents Bridgnorth East & Astley Abbotts on Shropshire Council – and former representative William Parr, who was replaced by Kirstie Hurst-Knight in the recent elections.
The statement adds: "The proposed three-storey care home is considered entirely appropriate within its context and the landscaped setting will ensure the building provides an attractive frontage when viewed from Old Smithfield."
It adds that the applicants "consider 24 spaces more than adequate" for the site.
It says: "A total of 24 car parking spaces are proposed, including two disabled/mobility spaces close to the main entrance as well as an ambulance/taxi drop-off area and two electric vehicle charging points."
About 50 full-time jobs could be delivered with the facility.
Previous plans for retail units on the site attracted about 7,000 objections and sparked protests from residents, who were worried the loss of the car park would only add to Bridgnorth's parking woes.
Last year, Shropshire Council said plans for a multi-storey car park at Innage Lane would be considered among other ideas to relieve the town's well-known parking problems.
But former council leader Peter Nutting confirmed this would not take place, and no other suggestions have been put forward to date.
Shropshire Council and Ziran Land have been contacted for comment.