Nursing home with 64 beds approved for Yate
PLANS for a 64-bed nursing home for dementia patients next to a Grade II-listed building and park on the edge of Yate have been approved.
The town council and 22 residents objected to the development next to Rockwood House.
But South Gloucestershire councillors granted permission after hearing the public benefits of the two-storey care home “far outweighed” the harm to the protected building and countryside.
Development management committee members heard the speed limit on the section of Gravel Hill where the two properties would share the existing entrance would be halved from 60mph to 30mph.
A previous application for a 90-bed, three-storey nursing home at the site was rejected in 2018.
Officers said the issues had been overcome because the scale of the proposed building had been reduced and its location was further away from Rockwood House, which was converted into flats in the 1990s.
However, Yate North ward Cllr Mike Drew told the meeting: “There has been no improvement with this application, in fact there are several things that are less amenable to the town and the site.
“We do not believe this is well designed. It is inconsistent with the listed building.
“It will have an impact on the listed building and the protected park and gardens.”
He said the entrance was from a narrow road with only a thin pavement and that pedestrians would be at risk.
In its objection, Yate Town Council wrote: “The previous design had better facilities and the overall look was good.
“This new proposal is just a standard block, with lots of the rooms facing the car park and the rest facing onto Caters Lodge, which will significantly affect their privacy.”
But a planning officer told the meeting on Thursday, June 25: “The site is very secluded and is difficult to see from anywhere but within the site.
“It is completely surrounded by trees and those trees are subject to a blanket tree preservation order.
“The scheme proposes a significant amount of new landscaping.
“The public benefit far outweighs the harm.
“The design is unique but entirely appropriate.”
An aerial view of the proposed development. Picture: Noma Architects
Cllr Judy Adams said: “We badly need this type of care home and they have reduced the size of the building dramatically.
“It is a modern, functional building and it has got landscaping around it.
“I am all in favour of it.”
Cllr Brian Hopkinson said: “The design is very good.
“Compared with the last one it is unbelievably better.”
Cllr Sarah Pomfret said: “I am quite happy with this building.
“There is a definite shortage of dementia care so in that sense it’s brilliant.”
Cllr James Arrowsmith said: “I am concerned around the road safety there.
“It does have an impact on Rockwood House and I am unsure about the weighing up of public need and the impact.”
Applicants Kestrel Care Village Ltd said South Gloucestershire was the second most under-supplied local authority in the South West for care home beds, with a shortage of 372.
The home will employ 60 staff and have 29 car parking spaces and three bicycle spaces.
A report to the committee said: “Given the location, it is likely that a number of the staff/visitors would be able to access the site without using a private car, due to the proximity of the development to the workforce available in Yate. “
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Main picture: Image of the proposed nursing home in Yate, courtesy of Noma Architects