'Utterly disgraceful' - care home and apartments decision angers residents

Halesworth care home

The approval for Castlemeadow Care's retirement living and care provision in Halesworth has drawn a strong reaction from residents - Credit: Feilden+Mawson

Castlemeadow Care has expressed its delight that planning permission has been granted for its development of 100 retirement apartments and a residential care home in Halesworth.

But there has been a mixed reaction from residents - with many sharing their negative feelings online about the potential impacts of the applications for both the care home and adjoining £1.66m grass pitch and artificial (3G) pitch.

Halesworth apartments and care home

A CGI impression of what the apartments and care home will look like in Halesworth - Credit: Feilden+Mawson

The apartments and care home are to be built on the site of the former Halesworth Middle School on Norwich Road and will provide accommodation for the elderly community of Halesworth and the surrounding area.

The development is expected to bring over 100 job opportunities to the local area with the first residents occupying late summer of 2023, and will provide care and support for up to 54 people.

Dr Sanjay Kaushal, director of Castlemeadow Care said: "This is fabulous news for us and for the people of Halesworth. The care home and the apartments will bring much needed accommodation and support to people, and we are committed to creating a beautiful care home and luxury apartments in a natural and relaxing setting."

Residents' reaction

The online reaction to the decision from residents was one of frustration.

One comment on a post, from Steve, received a positive reception. He said: "If you needed proof that democracy is dead then this without any doubt is it. A town council that unanimously votes against it. A community that by the poll is over 75% against it, truly and utterly disgraceful."

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While another resident commented: "Can’t understand why people are in uproar, the elderly have much needed housing and it creates hundreds of much needed jobs. Everyone’s a winner?"

Jody said: "A sad day for Halesworth and for democracy!" and Jamie posed a question: "Have you ever, in all your life, witnessed anything quite as dispiriting as that?"

Halesworth Campus chairman Tony Goldson said: “We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and we are absolutely delighted to reach this first important milestone. Halesworth Campus is finally going ahead.”

Ben Woolnough, planning manager at East Suffolk Council, took to Facebook to reassure people that officers at the council are there to "support all of the community".

He said: "It's fair to say that in my role I disappoint more people than I please and I know how strongly people feel about the middle school proposals on both sides.

"I'll also be honest in saying that East Suffolk officers have really heavily scrutinised Campus and Castlemeadow care proposals over the past three years, I'm sure they will confirm that we've made life hard for them."

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