Care home plan faces resistance

A PLAN to build a care home for people suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia should not be given the go-ahead in the heart Constable Country, it was claimed yesterday.

A PLAN to build a care home for people suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia should not be given the go-ahead in the heart Constable Country, it was claimed yesterday.

Carefore Homes Ltd wants to create what it claims is a much-needed facility at a 1.7-acre site at Blackbrook Hill in Dedham, but its applications have all been turned down.

The home would be four buildings surrounding a central court, mainly on one level, but with a two-floor section overlooking Blackbrook Hill.

Colchester Borough Council has argued the application cannot be given the green-light because it lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) meaning development is normally limited to agricultural and forestry projects.


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But at a planning inquiry yesterday, Paul Shadarevian, representing Carefore Homes, said there was an overwhelming need for the home in an area where nearly one in five people is over 65.

He said services for elderly people should be provided where need arises - whether in urban areas such as Colchester and Ipswich, or in the countryside.

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“Few sites like this will arise within this area and the impact on the AONB and the surrounding area is undoubtedly minimal,” he said.

Mr Shadarevian also said there were no plans for further housing to be built on the site and stressed there could be written agreement that the only use would be for the home.

The Blackbrook Hill location is close to the A12 and also lies within a countryside conservation area but Colchester Borough Council said such developments would be better suited to urban areas of regeneration.

Thomas McPhie, barrister for the council, said as the local planning authority it was obliged to protect the area from all unnecessary development.

“This application was refused because the local planning authority does not accept that this particular facility needs to be located in the countryside.

“The AONB should be given greater protection and this development will have an impact on the AONB.

He added it was to say there are no acceptable alternative sites available.

Giving evidence for the council, SorchaCreswell, said the home would be “unjustified development in the countryside”.

The inquiry, being held at Colchester Town Hall, is expected to conclude today although a decision from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will not be made public until next year.

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