‘Golden opportunity’ to create 60 jobs at new care home turned down

Artist's impression of the proposed 66-bed care home in Holt. Image: Planning documents/LNT

Artist's impression of the proposed 66-bed care home in Holt. Image: Planning documents/LNT - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new care home which would create 60 jobs were turned down despite it being dubbed a 'golden opportunity' to kick-start a commercial development.

A proposal for a 66-bed three-storey care home in Holt were refused on Thursday, September 12, despite support from the two local members.

Members of North Norfolk District Council's planning committee agreed with their officers' recommendation to turn down the application, because of its large size, potential impact on the area and "lack of visual interest".

But both Holt councillors Duncan Baker and Georgie Perry-Warnes spoke in support of the plans at the development committee meeting.

Councillors heard that the applicant, Yorkshire-based firm LNT, had modified the design of the building, which had been moved 23ft further back from the main A148 Cromer Road, on land next to the Heath Drive roundabout.

They were also told that the care home could kick-start commercial development on the Heath Farm site, and that it would create 60 new jobs.

Mr Baker said: "I've been absolutely behind this proposal from the start. It's jobs, investment, infrastructure and the need for a new care home.

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"The economic benefits outweigh everything else. It's on a piece of land earmarked for development.

"If we reject this we might as well go home. It's a golden opportunity."

His fellow ward member, Ms Perry-Warnes said: "We have more people over 55 in north Norfolk than anywhere else in the country, and there is a shortage of beds in the Holt area for dementia sufferers. This is a high quality design."

But other councillors were concerned there would just be 27 car parking spaces for 66 residents and 24 members of staff.

Richard Kershaw said its location caused him concern and added there was no crossing involved in the plans.

"It's more like a prison than an old people's home," he said.

And Paul Heinrich said the design was not suited to a care home and added that it could be anything, even a hotel.

Nigel Pearce was also concerned about its placement on the corner of a roundabout and Andrew Brown said it was "overbearing in terms of height".