McGoff’s controversial plans for a 60-bedroom care home in Wilmslow have been rejected for the second time by Cheshire East Council due to “over-development” in the local area.
Like the first refusal last April, the council’s decision on Wednesday came after the three-storey scheme was recommended for approval by the planning officer.
The application was submitted by New Care, a subsidiary of McGoff Group, and proposed the demolition of two detached houses to make way for new homes on a 1.1-acre plot off Handforth Road.
The developer had initially wanted the scheme to include 83 bedrooms but that scaled down to 69 during the consultation process, and again to 65 bedrooms at the time of the first rejection of the scheme by planning officers.
A council officer said at the time: “The principal visual effect of the development would arise from the elements that face, and are visible from, Handforth Road. I conclude that the proposed development would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.”
Amended plans for a 60-bedroom care home were submitted in July 2019 but the application was once again rejected, by eight votes to three, by the planning committee when it met yesterday.
Summing up the decision, officer Mike Hulland, said: “The proposed development would lead to an over-development of the site by reason of its scale, mass and bulk, which in turn, would detrimentally impact the character and appearance of the area.
“Material considerations are not deemed sufficient to outweigh the harm. The proposal would therefore fail to adhere with policies the sustainable development principles and design of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy.”
Chief executive of McGoff, said: “The decision to refuse the application for a second time when senior planning officers have recommended approval on both occasions is one of the most bizarre planning decisions I have ever seen in my 25 year career. Especially when the need for the care home is clear for all to see.
“There is a demographic time bomb in this country which is fuelling a care crisis, and if we don’t give proper consideration to fit-for-purpose facilities in areas where people want to live, and always have done, close to family and loved ones, that also meet regulatory and sustainability requirements, then we simply will not be able to cope.”
The scheme was designed by architects Street Design Partnerships and landscape architects DEP Landscape Architecture. Garner Town Planning is the agent.