Proposals to build a 118-bedroom care home on a green field site in Carnforth have been dealt a blow after Lancaster City Council planning officers recommended the scheme for refusal.
The site on the eastern edge of the town covers around two-and-a-half acres and abuts the Carnforth Working Men’s Club to the west, and is opposite the town’s Aldi on Scotland Road.
The plans, put together by architect Carless & Adams Partnership on behalf of developer Simon Tomlinson, are for a care home over three floors featuring 118 bedrooms along with communal spaces, staff areas, and car parking with access via Scotland Road.
Outline planning permission was granted for a residential development on the site in 2013. While the scheme has gone through two pre-application meetings with the city council, along with a meeting with Carnforth Town Council, the proposals have been recommended for refusal at next week’s planning committee.
The planning officers’ main argument rests on whether there is “clearly evidenced need” for a care home in this part of the borough. Their report said that while planning advice had been put forward at pre-app stage, this was “not heeded” with the scheme failing to “adequately demonstrate the need for the type of accommodation proposed”.
The applicant had prepared a care needs assessment alongside its application, which showed the local population has “an extremely high proportion of elderly persons”, with a methodology suggesting a demand of 137 elderly care beds in the area.
There are also issues raised over the project’s impact on nearby heritage assets, along with “significant landscape impacts”, given the three-storey nature of the proposals.
Officers argued: “Given the scale and nature of the surrounding built form, it is considered that the development would appear incongruous to its surroundings particularly against the vernacular and traditional scale and appearance of buildings along North Road.
“This issue of scale and massing is further exacerbated by the elevated topography and position of the development within the site. It is concluded that the scheme would have significant impacts on the landscape character of the area which would not be outweighed by the benefits of the scheme.”
Lancaster City Council is due to make a decision on the scheme on 1 March.