Developer forced to rethink 56-bed care home after appeal is lost

Hill House on Hall Lane in Drayton, which could make way for a new care home. Picture: Archant

Hill House on Hall Lane in Drayton, which could make way for a new care home. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A developer hoping to build a 56-bed care home in the place of £1.2m house near Norwich has been sent back to the drawing board after falling short at appeal.

Last year, Broadland Council’s planning committee refused an application from Lester Broome to demolish Hill House, on Hall Lane in Drayton, in favour of a new care facility geared at those living with early onset dementia.

However, early this year, Mr Broome lodged an appeal against the decision with the Planning Inspectorate in hopes of overturning the decision, which saw committee members vote six to four against the proposals.

With such a narrow margin and Broadland officers recommending the scheme for approval, Mr Broome had hoped the inspectorate would rule in his favour.

Instead though, planning inspector John Morrison opted to uphold the committee’s decision, dismissing the appeal.

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It has left Mr Broome having to return to the drawing board in the hope of moving forward with the scheme, which has Ethos Care lined up as a provider.

Gavin Elsey, director of commercial operations at Ethos, said: “While this current situation provides us with time to reflect, we remain undaunted in our vision for Hill House and we thank the Planning Inspectorate for its helpful guidance regarding areas that require focus and consideration.

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“The inspector identified two principle issues - the scale of the development and the design of the proposed building and location and was helpful in identifying his specific areas of concern and signposting the way forward.

“We are absolutely committed to delivering a much-needed service, one which will enhance the lives of our service uses who require specialist neurological care, a service which supports the local community, eases pressure on NHS beds, helps care commissioners, charities and the wider healthcare community.”

Mr Elsey added that Ethos was in the process of preparing a revised application which aims to address the concerns raised by the inspector.

In his report, Mr Morrison wrote: “It seems sufficiently clear that there is a local need for the type of care the facility would offer that is currently not met. It however remains important to consider the sustainability credentials of the site.

“I am not satisfied that the appeal site would be a suitable location for the proposed development.”

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