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New care village on edge of county wildlife site set to get the go ahead

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:35 30 August 2019

The company behind Carlton Hall care village is planning to open a new care village in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture; Nick Butcher

The company behind Carlton Hall care village is planning to open a new care village in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture; Nick Butcher

Plans for a new care village on the edge of a county wildlife site look poised to get the go ahead - despite police concerns over how secure its boundaries will be.

The owners of Carlton Hall, near Lowestoft, have lodged a bid to build a new facility off Pound Lane in Thorpe St Andrew, which would provide an 80-bed care home and 19 assisted living bungalows.

The site sits on the edge of a county wildlife site known as Belmore and Brown's Plantation and the proposals originally included 23 assisted living flats, but that was altered.

The revised plans will go before Broadland Council's planning committee on Wednesday and if approved would also see the demolition of two existing homes - Tawny Lodge and Beech Lodge.

During the course of the application, a bid was made to Historic England for Beech Lodge to become a listed building, but this was rejected.

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The scheme has been recommended by officers for approval, but Norfolk police has voiced concerns over whether its boundaries are fit for purpose.

In a written response to the application, an architectural liaison officer for the police said: "The existing western and northern boundary may demonstrate maturity and screening, but with vegetation gaps and visible chain link, this does not constitute a perimeter that could stop a casual intruder."

The office also requested the applicant provide further details of access gates and barriers protecting the site, which is close to the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Centre.

A spokesman for Carlton Care Village said: "Security for us is of paramount importance. We have been liaising with the police to ensure we have the level of security necessary and will be confirming this at the planning meeting on Wednesday.

"We look to, welcome, and appreciate the police's advice and will put in place the appropriate boundary security."

Over the course of the application, a variety of amendments have been made in response to feedback locally, including the removal of the 23 proposed flats, adjustments to the site's layout to provide a greater distance between it and the woodlands and changes to how the site will be accessed.

Christopher Rickman, the council's case officer, said: "The proposals will help to meet and identified need and support jobs and economic growth in the area."

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