Bidwells Planning & Heritage Team, supported by the Urban Design Studio (UDS) were appointed to review a planning strategy for the redevelopment of an existing care home. The facility was outdated and limited to the confines of the existing Victorian Villa, and a cramped urban plot.
As a consequence, it did not meet with the QCS and the operator struggled to retain staff and provide the highest level of care that they strived to provide.
What we did
The Bidwells team led on pre-application engagement with the Council and held a local exhibition event at the home for neighbours and residents families to view and comment upon the concept design. A heritage assessment was undertaken identifying tangible benefits, such as retention of the principle façade, removal of unsympathetic later editions and the retention of a garage building, which was identified as an undesignated heritage asset. A full planning application was submitted for a 43 bed care home but despite a lack of any technical objections, the Council on balance, refused the application determining that the development would result in less than substantial harm to the Conservation Area.
Bidwells led on the negotiation on conservation matters to inform a reduced scale and massing of the development, including alterations to materials and the façade of the building. In addition a public benefits statement was compiled in support of a re-submission of the application for a 35 bed care home. The Statement set out tangible public benefits derived from the improvement to the home and the character and appearance of the site within the Conservation Area
Officers accepted that the scheme has been improved and that the original reasons for refusal had in the main been addressed. The application was recommended for approval and was approved by the Borough, at their inaugural virtual planning committee meeting
Successfully secured full detailed planning permission through the Councils inaugural virtual planning committee meeting, by demonstrating that the public benefits outweighed the minor to less than substantial harm to the Conservation Area for a 35 bedroom care home