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Care provider to appeal decision which saw plans to extend care home rejected

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One of the region's biggest care providers is set to appeal the decision which saw plans to extend one of its homes rejected.

A proposal to create a 26-bedroom care facility at Brooke House, south Norfolk, was thrown out last week.

Approval would have taken the overall number of bedrooms to 60 and created 18 jobs in the process.

An artist's impression of the proposed extension at Brooke House, which was rejected by South Norfolk Council's planning committee - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

And Kingsley Healthcare, which runs Brooke House, argued there was an "overriding need" for care across Norfolk, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

But, having heard from several objectors, South Norfolk Council's planning committee opted to turn down the scheme - citing concerns the extension's modern appearance and impact on the surrounding environment.

Outlining Kingsley's intention to appeal, chief executive Daya Thayan argued that the need for additional care facilities had been unfairly superseded. 

"The overriding desire of this plan is community benefit and coronavirus has clearly demonstrated the need for these facilities," he said.

"It was acknowledged in the committee meeting that there is a need for care and en-suite rooms given we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is a greater desire on our part, therefore, to invest in facilities that protect the reputation of the home and the wellbeing of the residents.

"We feel the people making these decisions need to think of the greater good of the community. This is something that needs to be looked at in a very objective manner."

Prior to the committee's decision, council planning officer Claire Curtis had recommended the scheme for approval.

Plans to extend Brooke House care home have been rejected - Credit: Archant © 2011

Concerns were raised during the meeting in relation to an “unsuitable” track to access the development, but it was emphasised by Ms Curtis that it would not be used.

It was also noted that Kingsley would invest in the surrounding highways network, making improvements to a "dangerous" junction at the entrance to Brooke Gardens. 

Muj Malik, chief investment officer, at Kingsley, added: "If you look at it objectively, here is a well-researched plan presented after a two-year consultation.

"The planning officers, highways department,  conservationists and ecologists supported it, yet it was somehow not approved. The residents of Brooke House have been denied a beautiful, £4m investment."

Article edp24

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