Wirral care project set for green light

Plans for a 78-apartment extra care scheme in Upton are to go before Wirral Council’s planning committee next week with a recommendation for approval.

The Girtrell Court scheme is designed by Pozzoni and proposed by Alpha Homes, and includes 59 parking spaces, 2,100 sq ft of office space and landscaped areas in addition to the apartments, which are to be 100% affordable and intended for those aged 55 or above with physical or learning disabilities. Sixty apartments are to be one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom.

The plans also allow for a café and salon, to be available to the public, while resident-facing facilities include a spa bathroom and wellbeing suite. The office space is to become the new headquarters of Alpha Homes, currently based in Birkenhead. Alpha is a housing association specialising in elderly care, currently managing 860 apartments in 11 local authority areas.

At three storeys tall, the application has attracted some opposition, with a qualifying petition of 164 signatures submitted, along with 38 individual objections. The site sits within a predominantly residential area within Saughall Massie and currently houses the decommissioned single storey Girtrell Court respite care home, which is to be demolished by the local authority.

Mostly in red brick and timber, the main building would be three storeys featuring projecting gables and colonnades, balconies, bays and Juliette balconies. Principal façades would address Girtrell Road, which will include the main entrance, and Woodpecker Close, with two projecting wings enclosing a rear courtyard.

Summing up, planning officers said: “The proposed development would possess an appropriate level of design quality and visual interest, and would be of a layout, scale and mass that would respect the existing residential context and neighbours. It can deliver biodiversity enhancements and would not have any adverse impacts in relation to flood risk and drainage, ground conditions or waste management.

“The proposed development would bring social and economic benefits and, whilst objections have been received which have been carefully considered and taken into consideration, there are no material considerations which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the scheme.”

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