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Refused 56-bed care home plan could still go ahead if appeal succeeds

PUBLISHED: 14:49 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:37 11 March 2020

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

Archant

Refused plans to build a 56-bed care home on the site of a £1.2m house could yet go ahead if a planning inspector sees fit to give it the green light.

Broadland District Council refused a bid to build a specialist home for early onset dementia patients at Hill House in Drayton in October, with councillors narrowly voting against the scheme.

However, the final decision has now been placed in the hands of a planning inspector after applicant Lester Broome lodged an appeal against the refusal.

Debi Sherman, head of planning at One Planning Consultants, the agents for the scheme, said: 'The decision was vastly disappointing, not only for my clients but also for those in the healthcare profession who recognise that the significant shortage in bespoke, specialised care facilities obstructs the provision of this much-needed care service.

'More importantly, those suffering with this debilitating set of conditions and their loved ones are most disadvantaged by this refusal because as it stands they are not always able to stay near family and friends in Norfolk but have to relocate out of the county - thereby hampering their long term quality of life.'

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Gavin Elsey, of the care provider lined up to run the home, said: 'Should the appeal be successful we will be delighted to deliver a much-needed care model in Norwich.'

The application was refused by just a single vote in October, following concerns over transport connections to the main village of Drayton.
Among those opposed to the scheme was Lesley Gray, whose home is next door to the application site.

Mr Gray, who said he was speaking on behalf of several members of the Drayton community, said: 'The site is too small for such a large facility with this very specialist use. It would be a massive building around four times bigger than the existing property and is not suitable for such a rural location.

'I do not think it is suitable and would not have good enough connection to public transport.

'I am very much of a believer that it is important to have the right facility in the right location. This would not be the case here.'

The appeal will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate in due course.

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