‘It’s disappointing’ - ambitious plans to quadruple Norfolk care home refused

Cygnet Care directors Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford at the official opening of Dell House, in B

Cygnet Care directors Robert Blackham and Sally Crawford at the official opening of Dell House, in Beccles. REECE HANSON - Credit: Archant

Ambitious plans to more than quadruple the size of a Norfolk care home and expand it into a care village have been shot down by councillors.

The Earsham-based care provider Cygnet Care planned to demolish Cresta Lodge in Poringland and replace it with a new 60-bed care home and care village complex, which it hoped would be a game-changing development.

But the scheme, which would have included 56 care apartments and 31 extra care bungalows, will not go ahead on the land off Bungay Road, after councillors refused to approve the plans.

At a meeting of South Norfolk council's planning committee, held in Long Stratton on Wednesday, December 11, councillors rejected the application after officers warned it would "harm the rural character of the landscape".

The plans, which included a communal cafe bar, restaurant, lounge, gym, salon and spa, saw objections to the plans from the parish council, which they said were "visually overbearing and out of character" in a report submitted to the committee.

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They added: "Poringland has drainage considerations which are quite unique to the parish."

While district councillor John Overton highlighted concerns about the development's density and the potential for flooding.

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He told the committee: "Although I am supportive of a modern care facility, I feel I cannot support the application."

Mark Proctor, who spoke at the meeting told councillors his parents lived in a nearby property, and said: "We have serious concerns over the size and scale of the buildings.

"There's very few buildings in Poringland of this size or scale. It would have quite a strange feel.

"We're not against the principle of care - we're against such a dense form. It's completely irregular with Poringland."

Vivienne Clifford-Jackson, Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "I'd like to know your expected total population of carers and care staff."

Robert Blackham, who co-owns Cygney Care with his sister Sally Crawford said: "It would be about 300 people."

And speaking after the meeting, Mr Blackham said: "This is a wonderful proposal for our elderly people in South Norfolk so when its turned down it is disappointing.

"But we'll look to the future and see how we can move forwards."

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