Bury St Edmunds: Parking concerns over care home application

West Suffolk House

West Suffolk House - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new care home have drawn criticism from residents living nearby over the proposed site’s parking provision.

The existing 48-bed Glastonbury Court care home in Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds is due to be demolished and replaced with a new 80-bed facility and wellbeing centre, as part of the partnership between Suffolk County Council and Care UK.

The new application proposes 29 car parking spaces to serve the new home and wellbeing centre, as well as bays for motorcycles, bikes and a bus. The existing 48-bed home is served by 18 car parking spaces, but provides no spaces for other vehicles.

Philip Jude, from the Horringer Court Residents’ Association, said: “I’ve had terrible complaints from local residents about parking and visitors parking in the quite narrow estate roads, including being concerned that perhaps an ambulance couldn’t get through. It would cause great distress if it’s allowed to go forward.”

The 2002 Suffolk Parking Guidance for care homes, adopted by St Edmundsbury, suggests a maximum of one car park space per two members of staff and one per three beds, which equals 42 spaces for the new care home given its plans to have a maximum of 30 members of staff on site at once.

A spokeswoman from Care UK said: “Care UK undertook car park surveys at existing care home sites in Suffolk to determine the maximum parking demand, which was equivalent to 0.29 per resident room - 24 car parking spaces for an 80 bed care home is therefore the right level.

“A further five are proposed for the wellbeing centre, which is also based on the evidence of demand at existing wellbeing centres. This is in line with the 2002 Suffolk parking guidance, which is set out as a maximum upper limit of 42 spaces for a home of 80 beds, in order to encourage the use of public transport.”

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Borough and county councillor Sarah Stamp said: “We’re really pleased that this state-of-the-art facility is being built for people in Bury St Edmunds and this area, but it’s very important that the new building doesn’t impact on residents.”

The application is due to go before the council’s planning committee in February.