Town planners against dementia home blueprint

09:56 24 June 2014

Planning

Planning

Archant

Proposals for a three-storey, 60-room dementia home in the Avenues, ‘bigger’ than the mooted Premier Inn on the seafront, has not been backed by town planners.

Ray and Gina Kerler-Lovegrove, who run Manor Lodge Residential Home and Premier Community Services, have applied for planning permission for the new home, at 28 Cranford Avenue.

They say the home will provide much-needed dementia care, with the potential loss of Devon County Council’s Davey Court and other dementia beds in the town, and will create 40 jobs, with more potentially to follow.

At the town council meeting Alderman David Scott backed the plans but David Hitt, who lives near by said he was concerned that the building would overshadow his property.

He said: “The mass and bulk of this building can be appreciated when comparing it with the new 60-bedroom Premier Inn.

“This application seeks to build a similar 60-bedroom facility slap-bang in the middle of a residential neighbourhood with a floor area 17
per cent bigger than the seafront hotel.”

Councillor Brian Toye said: “This is rather a large development.

“It would be more appropriate if they could reduce the number of bedrooms and take it down to two storeys.”

Cllr Maddie Chapman said: “We are badly in need of more dementia beds. But we have to look at the site and the scale of the building.

“While we support the need for it, we are not happy with the size and the placing in the plot of this building.”

Mayor Bill Nash said: “We are all aware from the 23 letters of protest that there is a problem.

“I would have liked to have seen a pre-application meeting between the architect and district planners to see whether they would have felt that this building would cause problems for the area.

“I propose that, while we support the need for more dementia homes, the massing and scale should be looked again.

“I feel that we have to regretfully object.”

Cllr Sandy MacQueen said: “These days for dementia care they are talking about smaller family units and I would have thought that on such a large site you could form something different which is just two storeys high.

“I think that having three floors with 20 beds on each floor is not the kind of unit people with dementia could cope with.”

District planners will make the final decision.

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