A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build a 65-bed care home in Wilmslow has been rejected by councillors following strong opposition from residents, doctors and Tatton’s MP.

Cheshire East Council officers had called on councillors to approve New Care Project’s plans to knock down 51 and 53 Handforth Road and build a care home with 24 parking spaces in its place.

But at a meeting on Wednesday, CEC’s northern planning committee unanimously voted to turn down the proposal.

A total of 84 objections were sent to CEC against the scheme – while Esther McVey MP and the NHS Eastern Cheshire clinical commissioning group raised concerns about the care home’s impact on GP services.

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Cllr Barry Burkhill, CEC member for Handforth, told the committee: “I am aware that the service is already stretched.

“To ask them to take on potentially 60-plus patients with needs that are likely to be more acute than the general population is unreasonable.

“It is certainly not the right location for a care home of this size.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Wilmslow Town Council also strongly objected to the scheme due to its ‘overbearing’ impact on the neighbouring area and a lack of parking.

Cllr David Pincombe, member of the town council’s planning committee, suggested it would cause ‘traffic chaos’ and could lead to accidents – with Handforth Road getting busier since the new A555 opened last year.

He said: “Police regularly patrol this stretch of road with speed guns, which gives an indication that the road is being used not just by local residents but by road users who are not familiar with the local area.

“It is the wrong location for this type of care facility. We just can’t see it being able to function in this particular area. It is the wrong position.”

Knutsford Guardian:

But Paul Carr, architect for the scheme, told councillors the New Care development would provide a higher standard of ‘dignity and care’ to residents than in other, older care homes nearby.

And he urged the committee to follow the recommendation made by officers – insisting the impact on traffic and the home’s surroundings would be acceptable.

“We have worked long and hard with your professionals in the planning team to get to this position,” Mr Carr said.

“With redevelopment comes change and impact, of course, but your officers agree that in this case it is perfectly acceptable.

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“This is an opportunity to provide a community residence right where it belongs, in the heart of the community, and not on an industrial park.”

Opening the debate, Cllr Hilda Gaddum, Conservative, said: “I do have very major, major problems [with this].

“I think it will have an enormous dominating effect on the street scene and I think it’s an overdevelopment of the site.”

Cllr Nick Mannion, Labour, added: “I have no problem whatsoever with the principal of this kind of development.

“However it is too big, and I agree with Cllr Gaddum that it is cramming onto the site.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Members also agreed there is a lack of parking, with Cllr Liz Durham, Conservative, suggesting it could lead to a ‘nightmare’ for visitors.

She added: “If there is not enough parking on-site, people will just park outside people’s homes, and this is not the sort of road to be able to do that.”

The committee rejected the scheme on the grounds of overdevelopment and a lack of parking provision.

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