'Halesworth at risk of becoming a retirement town' if care home goes ahead
- Credit: Nick Butcher
If a care home is given the go-ahead then Halesworth will be "at risk of becoming a retirement town," its town council has said.
Plans to turn Halesworth Middle School into a 54-bed care home and 100 extra care apartments have been objected to by Halesworth Town Council ahead of a planning meeting.
The Norwich Road and Harrisons Lane development would also see a £1.66m grass pitch and artificial (3G) pitch as part of the plans.
Objecting Halesworth Town Council said it would set a "precedent for similar applications" and "Halesworth was at risk of becoming a retirement town".
Other barriers were seen as the "loss" of green open space and claims it did not serve "local needs" due to vacant beds in existing care homes.
During a consultation by developers Castlemeadow Care, which manages residences across East Anglia, and the Halesworth Campus charity, they said there was some residents that were enthusiastic about the plans.
A spokesperson for the trustees said: "What unites everybody in Halesworth is the desire for a swimming pool, and campus is determined to do everything possible to deliver one as part of a third planning application which will also include a three-court multi-sports hall and hard courts for tennis and netball."
The Apollo Youth Club building will have to come down once construction starts, but a group is forming within the town to explore the future of youth provision in Halesworth.
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East Suffolk council officers also said on balance the healthcare, retirement and improved sporting facilities in Halesworth outweighed the "considerable change" it would have on the character of the town.
They told councillors: "Many of the matters raised can be addressed either through appropriate planning conditions or proper consideration of detailed design at reserved matters stage."
East Suffolk officers also urged for an S106 agreement to include a standard care package, a financial contribution towards healthcare, a public right of way footpath to Cutlers Hill Surgery, money to Suffolk Coast Recreation Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy, Halesworth Campus to allow the site of apartment block A to continue and be used for playing pitches for a minimum of 12 months.
A meeting of the planning committee north on January 11 at 2pm will make a decision on the plans.