‘Care village’ plans split opinion among community
- Credit: Archant
Plans for a huge ‘care village’ in the Suffolk countryside have been met with a mixed reaction by the community.
Christchurch Land and Estates (Melton) Limited submitted a planning application to build an 80-bedroom care home and 75 bungalows in Yarmouth Road, Melton, last week.
The developers plan to build the village - which also includes a bowling green, cafe and clubhouse - on the 6.6 acre site of a former quarry.
A planning statement submitted alongside the application says the scheme would bring “significant economic and social benefits” to the area, ease pressure on Suffolk’s health services and create up to 180 jobs.
Tony Harris, managing director of Christchurch Land and Estates (Melton) Limited, said: “Our planning application responds directly to the acute shortage of specialist accommodation for the area’s growing ageing population.
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“The proposals have been designed to deliver safe, secure accommodation that improves the quality of life of elderly residents and evolves over time to meet their care needs.
“Early responses from the local community demonstrate that there is demand for this type of development in the local area, as well as support for the economic and social benefits that the proposals can deliver.”
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The proposals have attracted both support and backlash from nearby residents, with some commenting on the need for care for elderly people and others arguing the chosen site would be inappropriate.
A resident said: “This would benefit people over 75 in this community to have a safe environment to live in, which will increase their social aspects of life and improve their wellbeing.
“I can only see this as a huge benefit to the prospective residents. It will also create jobs within the community.”
Another added: “It would be a much better way for those in need to have a better quality of life before they end their days.”
However, many residents highlighted the other planned homes in Melton and voiced concerns of “overdevelopment”.
In objecting the proposals, a neighbour said: “The location is not great for serving an elderly community in a ‘care village’ with no close local amenities or infrastructure.
“The land is no good for this type of accommodation at all and should be left to a smaller development, if anything at all.
“Young families need affordable homes.”
Another resident added: “This development is the fourth large scale development proposed for Yarmouth Road in the small distance of maybe one mile between The Avenue in Ufford and Lower Road in Melton.
“The residents of Lower Ufford will be penned in by care homes at either exit from the village to Woodbridge or Wickham Market because of this overdevelopment, in what is a slice of glorious countryside.
“This is an assault on the fringes of a conservation area which needs to be protected.”