Proposals for a care home in Tarporley have seen Cheshire West & Chester Council go against the support of the local parish council, recommending the scheme be refused due to its position on a protected green site.
The project, being brought forward by Liberty Properties and Octopus Healthcare, would see the vacant site off High Street developed into a 65-bedroom care home and dementia care unit. As well as this, an 88-space community car park would be built alongside. The architect is C Squared while the planner is Avison Young.
The site is in the Tarporley conservation area, and designated as a local protected green space.
While the scheme has received a mix of support and objections locally, in weighing up the development the council’s planning officers have recommended the proposals be refused, due to the site’s location beyond the Tarporley boundary, in what is classed as open countryside.
Tarporley Parish Council said it was in support of the scheme, and believed the site’s use as a care home would count as special circumstances and could justify the release of the green space, which is not accessible or visible to the public.
Letters of support called for more parking to support the ailing shops on the nearby High Street, much-needed employment in the care home, and highlighted the local need elderly accommodation and dementia care.
Cheshire West & Chester’s Tarporley ward councillor Eveleigh Moore Dutton is “strongly in support” of the project, according to the planning report.
However, Cheshire West & Chester’s conservation and design officer objected as “the proposed height, scale and mass of the building are alien to the character of the area”, while the landscape team objected as the visual impact “would be significant”.
Andrew Baddeley, managing director of Liberty Care, said: “Whilst we are disappointed that the planning officers have made this recommendation, we believe that our plans for Tarporley meet the very special requirements needed.
“Whilst the care home will bring significant benefits to the local community and wider-Cheshire area, the car park will provide much support to shops and businesses on the High Street.
“This scheme is ready to be delivered and has the funding and occupier in place to do so.
“Make no mistake, following the events of the last few weeks, we believe that Cheshire West & Chester Council should be doing all they can to encourage investment and financial support with areas like Tarporley as well as prioritising high quality healthcare facilities that can better cope in these unprecedented times. We are confident that local councillors will agree with us and approve our plans.”
Cheshire West & Chester Council’s planning committee will be meeting this Thursday, and is holding the event via video call due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.