New 72-bed care home could be built in Norfolk town
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A 72-bed care home could be built to provide west Norfolk with more badly-needed accommodation for retired people.
Developer Aspire LPP wants to demolish two houses occupying large plots on the edge of Downham Market.
The care home would then be built on the site of 157 and 159 Bexwell Road.
A planning statement accompanying the outline planning application says: "The need to provide housing for older people is critical. People are living longer lives and the proportion of older people in the population is increasing."
It warns there is only enough retirement housing to accommodate 5pc of the over-65s, while there will be a shortfall of some 160,000 homes suitable for older people across the country by 2030, which will increase to 376,000 by 2050.
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It adds West Norfolk currently has a shortfall of 575 bed spaces.
The planning statement says: "Each resident is provided with a fully furnished private room with individual en-suite facilities, a telephone, tv and call bell points for emergencies.
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"All rooms are wheelchair accessible and user friendly with modern facilities and guests are encouraged to bring their own ornaments and furniture to personalise their accommodation."
Land on the other side of the road has been earmarked for a new supermarket, while McDonald's and Starbucks have been given planning permission to develop land between the proposed care home and the A10.
So far, four people have left supportive comments on West Norfolk council's online planning portal while there have been no objections.
Rose Cornelius posted: "This will complement the planned development for the end of Bexwell Road the approved McDonalds and pending Lidl. It will also provide a much-needed service to the community including employment in the care sector."
Angela Kilbey added; "I think this venture would be a great asset for Downham Market as it has a large number of ageing residents. Although there are other care homes in the town, I think this one will give would-be residents a real choice as long as competitive rates are charged.
A decision is expected later in the summer.