Neighbour opposes bungalow scheme over lack of carers

A 20 bungalow plan has been submitted for Fred Tuddenham Drive in Cawston 

A 20 bungalow plan has been submitted for Fred Tuddenham Drive in Cawston - Credit: Google Street View

Plans to build 20 bungalows for older people in a Norfolk village have been criticised by a neighbour, who fears there are not enough carers to staff the development.

Brian Schuil has called for the residential care facility scheme in Fred Tuddenham Drive, Cawston, to be rejected by planners at Broadland District Council (BDC).

The 76-year-old, who lives nearby, raised a series of concerns about the plans, particularly over whether there were enough care workers locally to work at the complex. He also feared the development would worsen existing traffic problems.

Plans for the 2.8-acre site between Reepham and Aylsham were submitted earlier this month and feature 20 assisted living bungalows, as well as a care building and club house/assembly room.

A statement on behalf of the developer said housing for older people was "critical" as the UK population ages.

Mr Schuil said that concerns from a previous application for the site, which had been rejected by BDC in 2013, remained.

The company behind the plans, Smith and sons of Hongingham, subsequently lost at an appeal to the government's Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Schuil said: "There were concerns about the road that runs off it.

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"There's a huge problem with congestion in Chapel Street.

"And behind it sits a 40-bed care home and at the moment they can only have 10 people in there because they struggle to get enough carers. 

"Where do they think they will get the staff for this development from?"

Mr Schuil fears that the plans could be approved and then the properties will be turned into regular housing because the staff are not available.

And combined with the added traffic expected to be generated by recently approved wind farms off the coast - infrastructure for which is being built nearby - Mr Schuil said the roads could become a "nightmare" in Cawston.

"Our roads were built for horses and carts," he said.

"The HGV traffic is bad enough, add this in and it could be unbearable."

Smith and Sons of Honingham were contacted for comment but did not respond.

In the application, a statement on the company's behalf said the site would provide essential facilities and services for elderly people, allowing them to retain independence while accessing care in their own homes.

The statement said: "Care villages are known to delay the need for NHS resources, since residents are able to rely on care that otherwise, in the wider community, would mean a trip to the GP or delayed-release from hospital."