Bid to build new care home for the elderly in Haverhill soundly rejected by councillors
A bid to knock down a 'landmark' house and build a new 66-bedroom care home for the elderly on the edge of Haverhill has been resoundingly voted down.
All but two of the councillors sitting on yesterday's West Suffolk Council development control committee meeting voted to approve the recommendation by the planning officer to refuse the application.
LTC Care Developments had applied to demolish the 120-year-old Boyton Hall, off Ann Suckling Road, and build a three-storey high care home, with 40 parking spaces.
Planning officer Penny Mills had told the meeting the application should be refused for a number of reasons.
She cited the size of the building as one main concern, saying: "The proposed care home will be far greater in scale than any of the other buildings in the area", adding: "The development would have an adverse affect on the character of the area."
The plans also came, she said with insufficient car parking, would have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring homes and would result in the loss of numerous trees, some with tree preservation orders.
Tracey Spencer, planning manager for LNT Care Developments, which submitted some last minute additional plans and information to try and counter the reasons put forward for refusal, said the large amount of housing being built in the surrounding area meant the appearance of Haverhill was already 'dramatically changing.'
She added: "There is no doubt the care home will be of a greater scale but it is set on a very large plot and other buildings of the same scale will be appearing in the area."
Councillors John Burns, David Roach, Elaine McManus and Jason Crooks all voiced their opposition to the plans, as did Ian Sheppard, whose home is next to Boyton Hall.
Cllr Crooks said: "If you expand a town you can't just destroy everything in its wake. You have to respect what's there.
"Boyton Hall is very important to the identity of the actual area. It has a landmark status within Haverhill."
Cllr David Smith also spoke against the proposal, pointing out that, as stated in the planning officer's report, there is a plot of land earmarked for a care home on the Great Wilsey Park development.