Swanton Morley: Proposed Assisted Care Living Units, adjacent Lincoln House Nursing Home: Variation of Section 106 Agreement: Applicant: Dr S. Kaushal: Reference 3PL/2006/0332/O (Agenda item 9)
- Meeting of Planning Committee, Monday, 24th September, 2007 9.30 am (Item 153.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 153.
Report of the Development Services Manager
The following speakers were in attendance for this item:
- Mr R Atterwell, Parish Council
- Mr D Ansong, Applicant’s Solicitor
- Dr S Kaushal, Applicant
The Development Services Manager presented the report which concerned a request to vary a Section 106 Agreement relating to a proposed development of assisted care living units at Lincoln House, Swanton Morley.
Outline planning permission had been granted in January 2007 for 24 high dependency assisted care living units adjacent to Lincoln House Nursing Home. Reserved Matters approval had been granted in April 2007. The permission had been subject to a Section 106 Agreement, the main provisions of which were: i) occupancy of the units to be limited to persons over 60 years of age in need of care, ii) the units must be operated as a care home linked to the adjacent Nursing Home; and iii) the units should not be sold separately from Lincoln House.
Amendments to the Agreement had been suggested to enable more flexible arrangements to be made for the provision of health care packages which would provide future occupants more freedom of choice. These amendments had been proposed following discussions with health care bodies, including the Commission for Social Care Inspection. Accordingly, it had been proposed that clauses in the current Agreement tying the units to Lincoln House be deleted, but that qualifying occupancy criteria be enhanced. The proposed variation would require potential occupants’ requirements for care and supervision to be certified by a medical practitioner.
A Member raised concerns in relation to the partitioning of the Nursing Home from the units as he felt that if the Nursing Home should ever cease trading the site would be very difficult to sell.
A Member asked about financial matters relating to the Nursing Home. In response, Dr Kaushal explained that it had been very difficult to move this project forward as funding was no longer available from certain health care bodies. Dr Kaushal stated that if Members were mindful to approve the amendments the occupants of the proposed units would also have the right to choose their own health care providers. Mr Ansong, the Applicant’s Solicitor, assured the Committee that there would not be a danger of the units becoming a separate residential site in the countryside.
Mr Atterwell, the Parish Council Representative, had supported the original application but was concerned that the Parish Council had only just received notification of the variation on 15th September 2007. He requested that the application be deferred until after the Parish Council meeting on 8th October 2007.
A Member asked whether Norfolk County Council Social Services would be able to provide the care if the units were not sold off and separated from the Nursing Home. In response, Dr Kaushall stated that Social Services or the Primary Care Trust could not provide any further funding; however, the residents of the Care Home would still have access to social care allowance. The Council’s Monitoring Officer asked whether there was any matter that would cause great difficulty to the operation of the Care Home if the bungalows were linked to Lincoln House. Dr Kaushall replied that the bungalows would be liable to VAT of 17½%. The Monitoring Officer then asked Members if they would have granted the outline planning application if the bungalows had been a separate entity; if not, then Members should look at the provisions of the Section 106 Agreement. A Member felt that the only advantage for the bungalows to be dislocated from the Care Home was that the residents of the units would have the opportunity to call upon some other health care provider, and in his opinion, that was not a good enough reason. He suggested that the units should remain tied to Lincoln House for commercial purposes but physically the residents should not be bound to any one health care.
The Chairman felt that this Committee should not be trying to solve a health care problem through the planning process.
RESOLVED that the request for variation of the existing Section 106 Agreement be refused.