Chelford 60-bed care home ‘unsuitable’ despite soaring demand

Plans for a retirement village including a 60-bed care home in Chelford have been recommended for refusal.

The application, which includes 72 assisted-living apartments, would see the existing dwelling and outbuildings at Holly Tree House on Pepper Street, demolished.

The proposed complex would also include a tennis court, fishing and boating lake, Japanese water garden and sensory garden along with new allotments, bowling/feature greenspace and woodland walks.

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A village center hub building comprising health and wellness and communal facilities, integrated satellite community healthcare (GP) clinic and 14 close care suites, is also proposed.

The application, from David Hughes, was due to have been decided by Cheshire East in October but was withdrawn for changes to be made to the scheme.

It will now be considered at Wednesday’s (February 2) meeting of the council’s strategic planning board.

A design and access statement submitted with the application says the development will ‘create a high quality, attractive, new care village, sensitive to adjacent uses and complementary to the existing residential neighborhood, offering a mix of care housing types and a host of care related and leisure/recreational services and facilities’.

A report from the council’s planning officer, due to go before Wednesday’s meeting, states there are advantages to the scheme but these do not outweigh the disadvantages.

“The main social benefits are that the development would address specific, highlighted care needs for an elderly population, which is particularly high within Cheshire East compared to the national average,” states the officer.

“This is in conjunction with the benefits derived from the community concept and the various levels of care proposed on one site.”

The officer said there would be economic benefits in terms of full-time equivalent job creation and short-term jobs created during the construction period as well as localized spends in the area.

“The considerations in favor of the proposed development, notably the social benefits, carry significant weight. However…the benefits identified are not deemed to clearly outweigh the combined harm to the Green Belt and the other harm identified,” stated the council’s planner.

Altogether 176 local households and groups commented on the scheme. Of these 133 objected and the others were supportive.

Planners have recommended councilors refuse the application on the grounds of inappropriate development within the Green Belt, that it would be located outside of a settlement boundary in an unsustainable location and it would have a significant adverse impact upon roosting bats and Great Crested Newts.

The meeting takes place at Macclesfield Town Hall at 10am on Wednesday, February 2.

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