Agenda item

Deferred Item: Shipdham: Eight Homes with Care including Communal Area at Wood Farm, Church Lane, Shipdham: Applicant: Mr T Thompson: Reference: 3PL/2012/0770/F (Agenda Item 8a)

Report of the Director for Commissioning.


All Members noted that they had received direct representation from the Agent.


This item had been deferred from the November meeting for consideration of various matters.  Most concerns had been addressed by the applicant and the details were laid out in the report.  However, Officers were recommending refusal on grounds of highway safety and the isolated nature of the site away from local services.


Mr Took (Agent) had tried to clarify most points in his letter to Members.  He stressed that there would be limited additional traffic.  The access track was similar to many country lanes and already used by service vehicles.  Traffic speed was slow in the area.  The units would provide care in the community at affordable rent of 80% of market value.  The site was close to local amenities.  The planning merits outweighed the objections.


Councillor Turner (Ward Representative) spoke on behalf of the applicant and strongly supported the proposal.   The isolated site would provide a peaceful and natural setting for residents whilst being only 500 yards from many local facilities.  Care support staff could walk to the units from Manor Close.  Highway concerns should be looked at in context. 


It was confirmed that the units would be for rent, not for sale.


Mr Bambridge thought the units could produce an additional 30 to 70 traffic movements a day which would add to the problems of a really dangerous junction.  However, the Agent disputed those figures which he suggested related to traffic movements from four bedroom houses. 


Generally speaking Members felt that there were unlikely to be many additional traffic movements caused by the development which was also thought to be in a good position, closer to amenities than many areas within the Settlement Boundary.  It was also suggested that it should be looked at as an exception site, providing much needed accommodation at 80% of market rent.


In response to a question Councillor Turner confirmed that she was unaware of any accidents at the junction since she had lived in Shipdham.  She referred to it as a ‘self-regulating’ highway.


Mrs Spencer asked if the units were for single people needing care or for couples with one person needing care.  The Agent advised that both could be accommodated although primarily for single people the units would be ideal for married couples.


Councillor Bowes asked how it could be ensured that the units were only used by people needing care and the Solicitor informed her that that could not be guaranteed.  The terms of a legal agreement could be changed over time.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.  It was proposed to approve the application as an exception site.  The Highways objections were not considered sustainable because the road was set out in such a way as to be self-regulating and the visibility problems were no greater than other places.


The Planning Manager asked Members to think about restricting the use by condition for persons in need of care for dementia and for no other use class.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, including an occupancy restriction, on completion of the section 106 agreement.


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