Application rejected for dementia care campus near Norwich

Aerial view of Norwich Research Park. Photo: Mike Page.

Aerial view of Norwich Research Park. Photo: Mike Page. - Credit: Archant

Plans to develop new healthcare facilities near a Grade II listed Norfolk hall to link up with the Norwich Research Park development have been rejected by a council planning committee.

Applicant James Boddy's proposal to build a 16,950 sq m dementia care campus in close proximity to Colney Hall in Watton Road, Colney, was turned down by South Norfolk Council's development management committee yesterday on the grounds that the development was inappropriate for the site and would have an adverse effect on the hall.

As well as the campus, there would have been a 1,100 sq m research and development building along with shopping, restaurant and cafe facilities, 313 car parking spaces and 138 cycle spaces.

But the committee heard planning officers' concerns that only 5.9pc of the development would be for research purposes, which did not reflect the objective of planning policy that most of the site should be developed for research.

A report by planning officer Ian Reilly also stated the nature of the proposed jobs did not accord with planning policy and could potentially hinder the commercial success of other research park developments.

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However, Erica Whittingsteel, a chartered town planner representing the applicant, said the plans would provide a 'positive and therapeutic' environment to treat dementia sufferers and would link with the life science developments at the research park to try and find a solution to the global challenge of ageing.

She added: 'If you grant planning permission for this scheme you will have a unique development on your doorstep for the development and improvement of dementia care.'

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However, councillor Christopher Kemp, who represents Colney, said: 'I agree with the officer's recommendation that the development should not proceed because it is going way beyond what this land has been allocated for.'

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