Community leaders label £30m care home plans 'monolithic' and 'overbearing'

An architects' impression of the proposed care home and sports pitch complex in Halesworth

An architect's impression of the proposed care home and sports pitch complex in Halesworth - Credit: Feilden+Mawson/Castlemeadow Care

Community leaders have lodged an objection to plans for a £30million project to create homes for elderly and vulnerable people in Halesworth.

The scheme for the former Halesworth Middle School site would see construction of a state-of-the-art 54-bed care home and 100 'extra care' apartments to allow people to continue living independently in their own homes.

The development off Norwich Road and Harrisons Lane would also feature a new £1.66m floodlit, all-weather sports pitch.

The project is a joint venture between Castlemeadow Care, which manages residences across East Anglia, and the Halesworth Campus charity.

Halesworth Town Council has called for a decision on the sports facilities to be deferred while certain issues are investigated and more information is made available, but has recommended refusal of the care facilities.

While some councillors are in favour in principle of the healthcare facilities, they would like to see a far less imposing development. Other councillors were unsure about having the care home next door to a sports hub with significant levels of noise and light at times.

The town council described the proposals as "monolithic and overbearing" and too urban for the approach road to a medieval market town.

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It felt the buildings were too tall, with a high density and the care home and palliative care too close to proposed rugby/football training pitches.

There were also concerns over car parking, and traffic accessing Norwich Road, along with the potential impact on the Cutlers Hill surgery of a care home and 100 extra care apartments when the doctors are already under pressure and dealing with an elderly population.

Castlemeadow Care has said it wants to work with Halesworth residents throughout the development process to bring a much-needed care home and apartments in beautiful surroundings and to provide a high level of care.

A restaurant and hair salon has been included in the proposals, with the firm saying that some of the facilities will be available for use by the wider community.

Feilden+Mawson LLP, for Castlemeadow Care, said the development would create 86 jobs along with training facilities and on-site accommodation to attract skilled care staff.

The firm said: "Employment and staff accommodation at the site will draw a wider group of people to Halesworth, who will in turn utilise and support local facilities.

"With up to 194 elderly residents expected to live on the site there will also be a significant number of visitors who are likely to utilise facilities outside of the site.

"The revenue generated by the care accommodation on site will facilitate the development of the adjacent sports and recreation facilities available to Halesworth and the surrounding towns and villages in Suffolk. In turn this will attract additional visitors to Halesworth and help support the local economy."

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