PLANS to extend a nursing home in Barbourne have been given the green light despite concerns from neighbouring residents.
A two-storey extension is set to be created at the rear of Shrubbery Care Home after Worcester City Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the scheme at a meeting last Thursday (October 23).
The proposals have upset a number of people in the area despite Minster Care Group, which runs the home, pledging to accommodate a further 12 residents.
Most of their concerns centred around the developer’s plan to get rid of the home’s garden, which also prompted the council’s Conservation Area Advisory Committee to object.
Speaking at the meeting, Joan Stephens, whose house on Shrubbery Avenue backs on to the planned extension, said she feared for the residents who would be living there.
“In the home’s current brochure there is a photograph of a well-maintained garden,” she said. “But now they want to rip it out. The residents will look out of their north facing widows onto a car park and a brick wall, while the others will look down onto a paved courtyard with not a blade of grass.”
However, Ruth Field, who was speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the changes would improve residents’ safety, while confirming they would create a number of raise flower beds.
“We want to improve the quality of life for residents,” she said. “We want to be able to provide a safe and secure garden, but at the moment a road runs through it so it cannot be safely accessed by residents on their own.”
Coun Matthew Jenkins and Coun Joy Squires, who are councillors for the area, also expressed concerns, with the latter describing the development as “overbearing”.
She said it was a street “returning to its former glory” after Berwyn House Surgery closed down and claimed the development would reduce the number of on-street parking spaces.
However, Bob Pender, from the county council’s highways team, believed there were more than enough spaces on-site.
“Under the city’s local plan, the nursing home needs one car parking space for every four bedrooms,” he said. “These proposals are for 43 bedrooms, so they need about 11 spaces and they are providing 18, so theoretically the county council should be asking them to reduce the number of spaces to encourage sustainable modes of travel.”
Coun David Wilkinson said he sympathised with surrounding residents, but insisted the councillors’ “hands were tied” as they did not have grounds to refuse the application, while Coun Roger Berry added: “I do believe there are serious problems in Shrubbery Avenue. But we have heard from Minister Care that this will improve the movement within the home, so on balance I am satisfied that this application can go ahead.”