Decision made on plans to tear down landmark for new care home
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Plans to tear down a prominent landmark on the edge of Haverhill and replace it with a 66-bed care home have been refused.
West Suffolk Council's development control committee on Wednesday refused the proposals by LNT Care Developments, which would have seen the land and gardens of Boyton Hall off Ann Suckling Road in Little Wratting developed for a care home and car park.
A host of concerns were raised, including the number of car park spaces, the size of the care home, overlooking onto neighbouring homes, impact on the appearance and character of the area and highways safety.
Plans were refused by 14 votes to one.
Councillor John Burns said the area was a "sanctuary" for the community, and added: "To have this very dense and high building in the middle of this land to me is not far off building in the countryside."
Councillor David Roach said that while Boyton Hall was not a formally listed building, it "gives its name to the whole area - to lose it is a loss for the whole town".
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Some councillors questioned where else the care home would go if the land was not considered suitable for development, while the agent for the developers, Tracey Spencer, argued: "The appearance of this area is changing.
"The two new applications nearby will dramatically change the character and appearance of north Haverhill, these two applications are set to deliver 3,620 dwellings."
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She continued that "other buildings of this scale will soon be appearing in this area," and added: "This seems like a perfect opportunity to secure further employment within this growing area by the care home meeting existing need for the increased population."
Planning officers said the new care home would bring economic and social benefits from investment, provision of care home beds and creating up to 50 new full time jobs, but recognised that the building would be larger than other buildings in the area, would result in the loss of Boyton Hall and a host of silver birch trees.
Ward councillor Elaine McManus told the committee that parking would overspill into Ann Suckling Road and the planned structure was "significantly larger than other developments in the area."
Ian Sheppard, an objector on behalf of several locals said it "removes privacy for a number of homes" and would "totally dominate and overpower" the surroundings.
It is not yet clear if the developers plan to appeal or come up up with fresh proposals.