Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2022

Plans to convert a former Hawarden care home into accommodation for disabled people refused

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 15th, 2022


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Plans to convert a former care home into accommodation for disabled people have been refused by Flintshire Council.

The authority’s planning committee turned down the change of use application for the site of the former Oakmere Care Home on Bennetts Lane in Hawarden at their monthly meeting.

They deemed the proposed development for the site of the vacant facility was too ‘overbearing’ in nature.

Jill Irving, a local resident, addressed the committee to say that while neighbours had no objection to the site being brought back into use as a specialist care home, they felt these plans were overbearing and also had access concerns about the width of Bennetts Lane leading to the site.

Michael Gilbert, agent for the applicant spoke in support of development which would have seen the current 12-bed building replaced with a 16 unit facility, providing 14 resident units and two resident wheelchair units.

This would have comprised of 14 single bedroom supported living apartments (including two wheelchair units) split over three blocks of buildings.

According to the plans each apartment would have had an individual or shared amenity terrace/garden area. The scheme also proposed a total of 32 parking spaces including three mobility impaired spaces.

The applicants stated that staff would work on a 24-hour three shift pattern, with staggered start and finish times to avoid traffic issues.

Hawarden Aston Cllr Gillian Brockley (Lab) as local member, spoke out against the application.

While accepting the need for more social care, she described the plans as “like building a new village on a lane”.

Cllr Brockley added that there had been arson and vandalism at the site since the previous facility closed, that Bennetts Lane is narrow with a number of blind bends, twists and turns, and is also considered a ‘safe route’ for children to walk to local schools

She felt the developers had “underestimated” the amount of extra traffic the development would generate.

Later in the meeting council planning officer James Beattie clarified that it was not a formally designated safe route to school.

Proposing a rejection of the application having attended a site visit, Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) said: “It’s too many buildings for the location. I’m also concerned regarding the safe route to school footpath.”

This rejection was supported by Buckley Bistre East Cllr Richard Jones (Ind) and Buckley Pentrobin Cllr Mike Peers (Ind).

But Mold East Cllr Chris Bithell (Lab) said he did not feel the application for the proposed accommodation differed greatly from what was there before in the form of the previous care home.

However, members refused the plans on Cllr Attridge’s grounds of being an inappropriate development, potentially overbearing and for highways safety reasons.

By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter

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