Planning officers have recommended for approval a £4m scheme to upgrade facilities and provide 26 additional luxury bedrooms at Brooke House care home, in Brooke, near Norwich.
Their report to next Wednesday’s meeting of South Norfolk Council’s development management committee highlights the need for an extra 288 care home beds in South Norfolk by 2028 due to a growing older population.
The council’s senior conservation officer, raising no objections to the plans for the former country house of chocolate magnate Eric Mackintosh, said consideration should be given to enabling the house to continue as a care home into the long term.
“The extension will allow for more modern facilities, including lounges, which can be used by all the residents,” he said.
Norfolk County Council highways department said a junction improvement agreed as part of the scheme would considerably improve visibility for traffic in The Street.
Kingsley’s chief investment officer Muj Malik, welcoming the positive report, said: “Our final scheme has been the result of extensive consultation with local stakeholders over a period of more than two years.”
Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan said: “Our Brooke House development is part of Kingsley’s Vision 2025 to double the size of the group. It will see us investing up to £200m over the next five years on improving our existing facilities as well as investing in new build projects.”
Brooke House manager Julie Bullimore said: “We are conscious of being the custodians of a property that was originally built for the Mackintosh family as their private Norfolk residence and is now a beautiful care home and useful community facility.”
Leah James, a healthcare professional responsible for placing Norfolk and Norwich hospital patients in care homes, echoed the need for more beds when she addressed Brooke Parish Council.
She said: “We are seeing a huge increase in demand for residential dementia care homes; especially we need facilities which are secure and safe with well-trained staff and the Brooke House extension is absolutely needed.”
Simon Case, an architect for CLA which designed the scheme, said: “The overall design of the extension to Brooke House has been carefully crafted in order to sit harmoniously with the existing buildings and within the site.”
Brooke House, which has a Good Care Quality Commission rating, was acquired by Kingsley in 2003. The property, which is set in four acres of gardens, was built as the family home of Eric Mackintosh, son of the founder of the Mackintosh chocolate empire. An earlier extension – Brookefield – was built for specialist dementia care.
Author: Stephen Pullinger