A proposal to build a 62-bed nursing home as part of the Nowton Care Village at Nowton Park has received a mixed response from the public.
The plans, submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council by Euronite and care home operator Heritage Manor, are for a three-storey, 2,973 square foot building including communal areas, a reception, nurse stations, a cafe, a hair salon and cafe. The building will be used to care for people with dementia, bringing 70 jobs to the area.
But Nowton Parish Council has objected voicing concerns about the visual impact of the building, safety issues to do with access to the site, and the allocation of car parking spaces at the care home.
A Twitter campaign group, Protect Nowton Park, has also been set up to fight the plans which has gained more than 270 followers already and a petition organised which has attracted more than 60 signatures.
A spokesman for the group said: “We are not against there being a development on the site, just that the development that has been depicted in the drawings is very big and is not in keeping with the area.”
However, the project has been welcomed by Nowton Grange Residential Association who live at The Grange Care home on Nowton Park.
Their letter reads: “We unanimously agree that the new building will not affect our enjoyment of the path walks. We would strongly request that you take our views into consideration and take this opportunity to again stress how important the proposed facility is needed.”
Project architect Michael Driver said: “We made an application way back in 2011 which was refused for several reasons. Since then we have been trying to work to answer all the criticism to stand a better chance of finding a solution everyone is happy with.
“We were first made aware of objections on December 2 and have been trying to address these concerns.”
Simon Patient, managing director of Heritage Manor, said the firm would do their best to mitigate the public’s concerns.
He said: “Nowton Park is a beautiful, mature park which provides a wonderful backdrop for our residents and so we would be very upset if our proposed nursing home, adjacent to the park, upset this balance.
“We have worked very carefully with council officers and our landscaping team to ensure that the building will be screened from the main park. Our revolutionary design is aimed at maximising access to the outside space, to enable elderly and frail people to also enjoy Nowton Park.
“The unanimous support from our local residents association, the people most affected by our proposal, gives some indication of the efforts we have made to provide excellent care which respects the local setting.”
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